Everyday life in real socialism. Videos recorded by the Polish secret service document how the People's Republic of Poland spied on its own citizens and how neighbours denounced one another. The banality of the situations with the simultaneous omnipresence of state surveillance is frightening.
Director Tomasz Wolski uses material that was previously categorised as classified information. It leaves the viewer in the dark about the reasons why the respective acts of surveillance took place at the time. The secret obsession with observation characteristic of the time reveals everyday things: tapped phone calls about a breaktime sandwich filling, an upcoming doctor's appointment or about employees of the secret service who praise each other for having moved into a particularly good observation post. The recordings, torn from their original context, show us how absurd and, at the same time, shocking surveillance is: it's not about the person who is being observed. It's about the puzzle, which is made up of innumerable everyday banalities. This creates a context that exposes those observed and overheard, and thus makes it more easy to see them through. JJ
archives, found footage
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