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against everything and everyone


A revolution in the Brave Festival’s film section. Heeding the title of this year’s edition: “Outcasts”, we focus on forbidden films and ones presenting banned practices, rituals and feelings. We present films in four sections, and each of them tells a different story, concentrated around values which are close to the festival’s spirit: openness, dialogue, presenting endangered cultures and attitudes. Even if it is against everything and everyone.

We are introducing an element of competition – this year we will have the debut of the competition section. In this section, we will see 7 pearls of the world’s cinematography carefully selected from world festivals, created in different parts of the globe, from Guatemala to Mali. These titles, which have not been shown in wide distribution in Poland yet, and which speak about cultural taboo issues and bans, will compete for a prize of the value of  €4000. And it is you – the Brave audience, who will decide which one of them will be the winner, by voting after the show. We will also have a chance to talk to the directors at various meetings and debates.
The 7 films presented in the Forbidden Love section depict different dimensions of forbidden love. You will find here hard eroticism, pictures of individuals fighting for survival in the world from which they have been outcast, but also beautiful love stories. We are also proud of the organization of the first Polish retrospectives of Lou Ye – a defiant Chinese director, whose every new picture is a sensation: both at international festivals, in Cannes, Berlin, Venice or Rotterdam and in his home country, where most of his works remain banned as they raise the government’s opposition. BRAVE: Forbidden CINEMA is a unique opportunity to understand the phenomenon of the director of such intense works, that it is impossible to forget them.
There will also be a review of less known Polish “półkowniki / shelved films” – films banned from distribution by the censorship of the People’s Republic of Poland. Finally, we will be able to see masterpieces of Polish cinematography, which have been kept on shelves way too long, in the place where they belong – on the silver screen. We will also show the world’s first legendary banned film, i.e. Purity of 1916 directed by Rae Berger. Earlier, it used to shock by bold erotic scenes. Will it make the festival’s audience blush today also?
We believe that BRAVE: Forbidden CINEMA will be a feast for everyone who wants to discover brave films from different parts of the world, created in various languages and techniques, presenting less or more distant cultures, unknown stories and interesting phenomena. What is most important though is not what Brave’s films show, but how they do it. First of all, they stand out in their search for the ideal form, artistic skill and courage in expressing an own identity.

Adam Kruk and Lech Moliński
BRAVE Curators: forbidden CINEMA


The year 1916 was an important one in film history not only because it saw the release of D.W. Griffith's masterpiece Intolerance, but also because it witnessed the first well-known case of a movie being banned from cinemas and shelved for years. The movie was Rae Berger's Purity and the reason it outraged the guardians of public morals was the scandalous way in which it showed nudity despite its title suggesting the very opposite.

Having been censored and banned from cinemas, Purity was considered to be lost for decades to come. It was only in 2004 that the film was rediscovered in France and restored by the National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image in Paris. A copy of the movie will now be brought from France to Wrocław.

Purity recounts the story of a country girl named Purity whose life was nearly ruined after she agreed to pose for a painter. The title character was played by Audrey Munson who was considered a screen goddess and dubbed an “American Venus.” The actress was thought to embody the ideal of beauty, and her likeness was featured on a coin minted on the occasion of the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair. Exactly 100 years after it was created, Purity will be screened at the opening of the BRAVE Forbidden CINEMA review of films. The screening will be accompanied by live music composed specifically for this unique occasion and played by the Litwiniec/Gawlikowski duet.

Directed by: Rae Berger
USA, 1916/2004
70 min


The Forbidden Cinema contest is a completely new undertaking and makes up the most important segment of Brave Festival. The section consists of 7 exceptional, carefully-selected works from around the world – from Guatemala to Mali. Although none of them have been screened in Poland for a broader audience, they have stirred up attention around the world, won awards at major international film festivals, gained admiration, and provoked discussions.

The films in the contest, brave in form or in subject matter, present various dimensions of exclusion; they tackle sensitive issues and break taboos. Some of them were created by dissident artists, such as the Russian Oleg Mavromatti (No Place for Fools), others support the struggle for being able to freely direct one's own feelings, regardless of tribal traditions (Tanna) or health (Paris 05.59). Other works deal with music forbidden in Iran (Raving Iran) or Mali (They Will Have To Kill Us First), or portray forbidden, or “illegal”, people – those excluded from the modern world. We will see them for example in the famous, Golden Bear-winning Fuocoammare / Fire at Sea, or the poetic Ixcanul, which touches on human trafficking in Guatemala.

The Grand Prix will be awarded to the film with the strongest appreciation from the audience. The winner will receive 4,000 euros.


Lou Ye – the nonconformist and visionary

Chinese movie directors of the fifth generation – the first to begin their studies after the cultural revolution, when the film school was reopened – deconstructed the official political history

According to Maciej Szatkowski, a sinologist, the sixth generation deals with the challenges of everyday life with reduced narration. Lou Ye may be the finest director of that generation. However, the personal stories he presents tend to become more politically inclined and, as a result, they are often banned in China. Such was the fate of his debut film Weekend Lovers (1995), which had been postponed for two years, and Suzhou (2000), which, to this day, has not been shown in China. While considered a genius on the international scene, this director keeps playing a complicated game of cat and mouse with censorship in his own country.

To enjoy creative freedom, Lou Ye founded DreamFactory in 1998 – the first independent film studio in China. The studio creates his own movies, including the epic Summer Palace (2006) based on the screenplay written with the help of his wife Ma Yingli. The movie was acclaimed as a modern masterpiece, but also as the most controversial production that has come out of China in the past 50 years. After the film was presented at Cannes, Lou Ye was

Forbidden Love

Laurence Sterne wrote that people who are too serious hate love even for its name, the selfish hate it because of themselves, hypocrites in the name of God. For different reasons love was always being banned – usually without success.

In Dancing Arabs – a teenage love story between a Palestinian boy and a Jewish girl – it’s unwelcome for political reasons. In Naked area – intercultural fascination love tastes like a forbidden fruit. Sometimes the characters themselves give up their right to love and be loved (in exchange for more freedom in Sworn virgin) or the right to have children, like in Big father, small father and other stories which describes the phenomenon of male sterilization. Some fight by any means for their identity to be recognized within their own culture (Salvation Army), others impose restrictions to stop themselves from harming other people, like the Czech paedophile from the World of Daniel, who lives in celibacy. Enthusiasts of powerful movies can also see the famous, banned in many countries, Serbian film, where sex is a metaphor for violent relationships affected by the trauma of Serbian war. Each of the Forbidden Love category titles is not only a poignant story, but also the evidence of extremely daring artistic pursuits. After all, Brave is a festival for the fearless.

Polish Banned Films

A long time ago (well, maybe not that long) Polish cinematography was beleaguered by preventive censorship. It was used not only during the screenplay verification stage. Sometimes a finished movie did not receive any viewing due to being branded as “unorthodox” or “detrimental to the society”. Countless film reels patiently waited in their metal boxes on warehouse shelves for the coming of better days.


The movie that waited the longest was Ósmy dzień tygodnia [Eighth Day of the Week] (1958), which had its cinema premiere after twenty five years. Długa noc [The Long Night] (1967), which fell victim to anti-Semitism, had a slightly shorter waiting period. At the same time the movie Ręce do góry [Hands Up], which was supposed to be a harsh criticism of Stalinism in Poland by Jerzy Skolimowski, was canceled. The life of Na srebrnym globie [On the Silver Globe] (1976/1987) by Andrzej Żuławski turned out to be especially dramatic, as its production had been halted at the very end of shooting and was only finished after twelve years.




Etho Cafe "Okrąglak" offers a coffee preferred specifically for the Brave Festival. This is a classic alternative drip from Rwanda, the region Gakenke. Exoticism in resonance, apricots in smell, mirabelle plum and honey in taste. Wroasters, for the brave ones, the debut of a large-scale palates! Will you try festival coffee “Brave”? There are two alternatives: hot or cold.

KsięgarnioKawiarnia Nalanda proposes a special dish „Brave”. For the first week they serve a salad of green beans with quinoa and bacon with tempeh and a set of peppermint or lavender cold brew with dessert chia. Moreover, they prepare a special dinner set each day. Discount based on a ticket/voucher of Brave Cinema.

Good Karma II offers 10% discount on the purchase of the menu for all those who show a ticket or pass from Brave Cinema.

Polish Lody offers a special taste of ice cream "Brave" (sorbet with mango, carrot and cinnamon) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the festival. For holders of tickets andpasses of the Brav Cinema they offer 3 servings for the price of 2.