“SUPER UNIT” BY TERESA CZEPIEC - FILM REVIEW
"Super Unit", a short documentray by Teresa Czepiec, will have its international premiere at 57th DOK. Leipzig film festival. Daniel Stopa has watched and reviewed the film.
The Super Unit in Katowice is one of the largest residential buildings in Poland. It is the Polish People's Republic’s answer to the Unité d’Habitation by French architect and urbanist Le Corbusier, the author of the idea of a block of flats, called “machine for living”. The giant building, 185.5 metres long (15 floors resting on reinforced concrete fenders), houses 762 flats. Hundreds or even thousands of people live there. In her documentary film debut, Teresa Czepiec set the bar high, trying to depict the everyday life of this unusual place and all this in only 20 minutes.
The entire film is a journey though long corridors, places hiding various types of machines and installations, underground garages, utility rooms and selected flats. Paweł Dyllus’s camera, without any persistence, without unnecessary hurry, keeping appropriate rhythm, penetrates some nooks and crannies so that it can enclose a full image of the life in the building in a visual and acousting synthesis - its awakening, functioning day and night. Everything here seems to be alive, every smaller and larger element of the Super Unit: lifts, blinking buttons, mailboxes, switches, rubbish chute, all kinds of pipes, docs, all are parts of common organism, constantly pulsating.
"Super Unit” is also a gallery of various personages, an image of generations living and functioning in one place. Children, students, young generation, pensioners, technical staff... - each of these people are present on screen only for a moment, but in spite of this, in this micro-portraits we can see something more - their co-existence with the block of flats, individual and exceptional relationship with the place, devices and more.
Teresa Czepiec managed to include in this short form all that is important - emotions, atmosphere, mood, rhythm. In the exquisitely edited image of the microcosm we can perceive the truth about the whole. The excellent film by Marcel Łoziński, “My Place” (1985) comes to mind, though the message of both films is totally different. It also resembles numerous short films in which documentary filmmakers masterfully united analysis and the passion of film.