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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas


Edited By Janina Falkowska and Krzysztof Loska

This book examines small cinemas and their presentation of society in times of crisis and conflict from an interdisciplinary and intercultural point of view. The authors concentrate on economic, social and political challenges and point to new phenomena which have been exposed by film directors. They present essays on, among others, Basque cinema; gendered controversies in post-communist small cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic; ethnic stereotypes in the works of Polish filmmakers; stereotypical representation of women in Japanese avant-garde; post-communist political myths in Hungary; the separatist movements of Catalonia; people in diasporas and during migrations. In view of these timely topics, the book touches on the most serious social and political problems. The films discussed provide an excellent platform for enhancing debates on politics, gender, migration and new aesthetics in cinema at departments of history, sociology, literature and film.

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13. Migrants and exiles in the films by Katarzyna Klimkiewicz (Krzysztof Loska)

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Krzysztof Loska

Instytut Sztuk Audiowizualnych, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Poland

13. Migrants and exiles in the films by Katarzyna Klimkiewicz

Abstract: A methodological starting point is transnationalism as understood by Will Higbee and Song Hwee Lim who claim that the concept does not only refer to coproduction or global distribution but also includes political, cultural and social factors that help promote understanding contemporary cinema and the world around us. This is the perspective I would like to assume when analyzing the films by Katarzyna Klimkiewicz who mainly focuses on ethnic minorities and their problems. Klimkiewicz presents the lives of political and economic refugees, raising the issues of multicultural society, racism and discrimination. I concentrate on Klimkiewicz’s short film entitled Hanoi-Warszawa (2009) and her feature debut Flying Blind (2012), made in Great Britain. On the basis of these two examples, I would like to prove that contemporary cinema tackles “a migrant issue” in different ways: one refers to the poetics of a documentary and allows the “subaltern Others” speak, while the other makes use of the genre conventions.

Keywords: Transnational cinema, immigrants, orientalism, Vietnamese diaspora in Poland

It seems that the concept of transnationalism has become ubiquitous in contemporary film studies. The issues of border crossings, flows, and cultural hybridity are frequently raised by scientists; however, it seems that Polish films are rarely analyzed in this context. Polish researchers still seem to find penchant in using the category of national cinema, which was already worked over a long time ago, thanks to the theoretical and empirical findings of Andrew Higson or Matte Hjort.1 Nevertheless, a paradigm shift may be noticed with a recently published book Polish Cinema in a Transnational Context, in which the editors – Ewa Mazierska and Michael Goddard – convincingly justify the thesis that in recent years there has ← 181 | 182 → been a turn consisting in “transition from analyzing textual aspects of a film to considering it as part of the production and reception system.”2

I do not intend to refer only to the two aforementioned dimensions of transnationalism. On the contrary, I would like to refer to the proposals made by Will Higbee and Song Hwee Lim, who stated that the concept of transnational does not only concern the issues of co-production and global distribution, but also takes into account political, cultural and social factors enabling a better understanding of today’s cinema and the world around us.3 This is the perspective one should assume when analyzing diasporic films, whose authors focus on the problems of ethnic minorities and illustrate the consequences of demographic change, talking about the lives of political and economic refugees, or consistently raising the issues such as life in a multicultural society, racism or discrimination.

In anthropological reflection on migratory movements that reveals their impact on the ongoing cultural transformation and the emergence of new transnational ties, one can often notice the references to media images. This is particularly clear in Arjun Appadurai’s concept, in which the functioning of culture is explained on the basis of the model that aims at revealing the interrelations of various scapes: ethnic, medial, technological, economic or ideological ones.4 The British anthropologist argues that there do not exist any clear barriers separating “us” from “them,” and that a national identity has lost its past character based on cohesion and unity of experience. In return, it has gained a new characteristic: a hybrid and cosmopolitan in nature. Contemporary world is viewed by Appadurai in terms of exchange and interpenetration of economic, political and cultural aspects.5

All these factors are crucial for understanding the idea of transnational cinema, and I am going to focus on them in my analysis of two films made by Katarzyna Klimkiewicz: a short film Hanoi-Warszawa (2009), which received the Special ← 182 | 183 → Jury Award at the Gdynia Polish Film Festival for “inscribing Polish cinema in the broad emancipation processes,” and her feature debut Flying Blind (2012), made in Great Britain.6 By choosing these two films, I also wish to emphasize Klimkiewicz’s different approaches to the issue of immigration: the first one makes use of the poetics typical of a documentary, thanks to which it creates the impression of authenticity, whereas the second one follows the conventions of a melodrama, in which the themes of intercultural romance and forbidden love play a crucial role. The main difference between these approaches does not only lie in the aesthetic, but also in ideological choices, as it is connected with the construction of otherness and the adoption of a specific cognitive perspective. In Hanoi-Warszawa, the director lets the “subaltern speak” (to use Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s phrase),7 whereas in Flying Blind, she identifies with the point of view of a white Englishwoman. What is more, Klimkiewicz also employs orientalist strategies, whereby the representatives of ethnic minorities are exoticized and, at the same time, presented in a stereotypical way as potential criminals, terrorists or passionate lovers.8

The problem of illegal immigration and racial discrimination rarely appears in Polish cinema, while the intercultural exchange generally boils down to the encounters with “the others” that have been dwelling the Polish mind for centuries and has always meant the Jews or the Roma. One exception may be Marcin Wrona’s film Moja krew (My Blood, 2009), which tells the story of the Vietnamese diaspora, although it is presented from the point of view of a Polish boxer Igor (Eryk Lubos), who falls in love with an Asian girl. In the same year, Katarzyna Klimkiewicz made a documentary of a totally different character, free of any melodramatic elements. The film told the story of Mai Anh, a young Vietnamese woman, who illegally crossed the eastern border of Poland to reach Warsaw and find her boyfriend. The 30-minute film included a number of key themes typical ← 183 | 184 → of European diasporic cinema, such as human trafficking, a sense of alienation, or complexity of relations between an ethnic majority and minority.9

From the beginning of the film, the director adopts the main character’s perspective (Mai Anh), but at the same time keeps a distance, achieving this effect mainly due to the use of a foreign language throughout the film. The first sequence introduces the main themes: one of them concerns a group of Vietnamese people, working at the 10th Anniversary Stadium in Warsaw and trading things on one of the largest bazaars in our part of Europe. The second theme focuses on a group of illegal immigrants who silently endure humiliation, while crossing the “green border.” In this way, Klimkiewicz draws our attention to the dark side of mobility and migration, namely, human trafficking, which since the beginning of the new century has become a symbol of transnational nature of the criminal activity.10 Mai Anh (Thu Ha Mai) who gets sexually abused by her traffickers, manages to escape and, with the help of a young Polish couple whom she accidentally meets on her way (Klaudia Barcik and Przemysław Modliszewski), she somehow gets in touch with her fiancé and reaches Warsaw.

In her short film, Klimkiewicz captured one of the most important features defining the perception of minorities by a dominant majority. An illegal immigrant is not treated as a guest or a citizen, but as someone of a lower social status. Alessandro Dal Lago, an outstanding Italian sociologist, uses the term non-person, describing a man deprived of any rights, someone that can be arrested without ← 184 | 185 → a reason, searched and deported.11 Mai Anh is treated like an object, stripped of any dignity, and raped by a Polish driver (Michał Podsiadło) who smuggles people across the border. Her boyfriend, Thran (Le Thanh Hunh), is captured by the police together with a group of foreigners residing in the vicinity of the former 10th Anniversary Stadium. Both Hanoi-Warszawa and Flying Blind prove that an “illegal immigrant” does not only make a legal but also an anthropological category, because it denotes someone perceived as a threat. From such a point of view, it is the victim of persecution that should feel suspect and guilty.12

In one of the interviews, the director explained the reasons for her interest in the life of the Vietnamese diaspora in Poland: “I was wondering what it is like when someone becomes a “second-class” person. There was a time when the Poles who lived abroad were regarded as the “second-class” people. It turns out that in Poland, in our homeland, there are still foreigners who – due to our state policy – cannot feel free or live the way they want. For me it was a new experience – to be on the other side, because before it was me who was “the other”. Because of that I also experienced a bond of solidarity with those who feel this way in Poland.”13

Poles are generally portrayed in the media as a nation of immigrants, for decades leaving their homeland, first for political, then for economic reasons. Katarzyna Klimkiewicz and Marcin Wrona have turned their attention to a new phenomenon, associated with the influx of foreigners from different parts of the world, who dream of a better life or flee persecution, and settle down in Poland. Within the past few years, the number of applications for permanent residence card in Poland has increased by half, and the statistics show that the Vietnamese make the second largest national minority that settle in our country (Ukrainians being the most numerous one).14 Officially there live thirteen and a half thousand Vietnamese in Poland; however, according to the estimates that take into ← 185 | 186 → account illegal immigration, there are three times as many altogether. The vast majority of them live in Masovian Voivodeship, mostly in suburban towns (in the municipalities of Raszyn and Lesznowola) and in the capital itself (in Wola and Ochota districts in the city center). Not many of them declare the intention to stay in Poland for good; usually they come only for a few years to earn reasonable money and then return to their families.15

In Moja krew and Hanoi-Warszawa, the audience have the rare opportunity to see the image of the Vietnamese diaspora in Poland.16 Both films emphasize cultural and traditional differences between the Polish majority and the Vietnamese minority, whose members prefer to live in a close-knit group. In contrast to Katarzyna Klimkiewicz, Marcin Wrona does not avoid the temptation of using a (pseudo-)ethnographic perspective and presents a snapshot of daily life of the Vietnamese, the scenes of their leisure activities, even their prayers in a Buddhist temple. The action of Wrona’s film is set at around the same time as Klimkiewicz’s documentary, that is, soon after the authorities’ decision to close down one of the biggest open-air markets at the 10th Anniversary Stadium, which resulted in the majority of the Vietnamese moving to the shopping market in Wólka Kosowska. However, the bazaar remained the most characteristic feature of their world, consisting of a myriad of tin stalls, on which they sell clothes, a number of small bars serving Asian cuisine, and narrow alleys intersecting the area.17

Moja krew presents the image of an integrated community living its own life, while Hanoi-Warszawa focuses on a phenomenon, which is rarely discussed in the media, namely, human trafficking in which organized criminal groups are involved, and migrants’ slave labor. Due to the difficulties in obtaining visas and a high cost of travel, illegal immigrants are often forced to work off the debt they earlier incurred. The newcomers of Mai Anh’s kind have limited knowledge of ← 186 | 187 → Poland, they do not speak the language, and therefore, they are totally dependent on their employers who ruthlessly exploit them.18 Some immigrants are hiding from the police and use false names, as does the Mai’s fiancé, hoping that in this way they will avoid deportation. In 2012, the Polish government announced the abolition program for foreigners residing in the country without a valid residence card, and nearly fifteen hundred Vietnamese profited from it.19

One of the sources of inspiration for Hanoi-Warszawa was Klimkiewicz’s meeting with Ton Van Anh, a Vietnamese political activist, who has been living in Poland for twenty years and who organizes assistance for refugees. It was she who introduced Katarzyna Klimkiewicz into the Vietnamese diaspora, helping as a translator and intermediary in their contacts. She also told her stories of numerous Vietnamese people trying to get into our country. “Many of these stories were shocking, in the beginning I could not believe her, and I thought she was exaggerating. I had not realized before how difficult the experiences of the Vietnamese were. It was hard for me to believe that nobody speaks loudly about these things. I began to double-check the stories Ton Van Anh had told me, for example, I spoke with people working for the La Strada Foundation and the border guards in Przemyśl. It turned out that the dramatic experiences of Vietnamese trying to cross the border illegally were true. The story we tell in Hanoi-Warszawa could happen in reality. I tried to make it as credible and realistic as possible. All the situations depicted in the film could occur in reality.”20

The documentary has won many awards and honors, but it was the screening at the Short Film Festival in Bristol that made a turning point in Klimkiewicz’s artistic career. Alison Sterling, an independent producer, working for Ignition Films company, was at the time preparing the production of a film Flying Blind based on the script written by Caroline Harrington and Naomi Wallace. A story of a romance between a middle-aged woman and a much younger Algerian immigrant seemed the good material for a feature debut for a Polish film director who had already shown interest in intercultural relations, although the poetics of ← 187 | 188 → melodrama and thriller somehow limited the author’s ability to voice her artistically original creativity.

I am not going to write about the way the genre conventions are employed in the film – it is not particularly original in this regard – but I would like to place Flying Blind in a broader political and cultural context. First, one should take into account the burden of orientalist thinking, which is responsible for creating a set of collective ideas about other cultures and people; second, one should bear in mind a certain “Islamophobia” of British society, which resulted from a fear of religious fundamentalism; third, one should not forget the political context of the “war on terror” led by Western countries after the attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001.

The main character of the film is Frankie (Helen McCrory) who works in Bristol’s aerospace industry and specializes in the construction of drones for the military. She also has a series of guest lectures for students of a technical university. Frankie is a strong and independent woman who efficiently supervises a team of other male professionals. She lives alone in a big house and devotes all the time to her career. From the beginning of the film, we can see that a matter of national security plays an important role both in her professional and personal life. To enter the guarded premises, she must use a special code, the tests she carries out on military devices are strictly confidential, and her projects are supervised by the intelligence services. Even her apartment resembles a fortress, the access to which is controlled by security cameras. The ethical issues relating to the nature of her research seem to be of lesser importance to her. When one of the students asks about her cooperation with the arms industry and scientists’ indirect responsibility for the deaths of civilian victims of the bombings, Frankie replies that philosophical issues are not her concern: “Each plane can be used for military purposes. I am more interested in the beauty of a flight than in a plane’s fighting ability.”

Her whole life changes when she meets a 24-year-old Algerian, Kahil (Najib Oudghiri), who claims to be an engineering student, but in fact is an illegal immigrant in the United Kingdom. He has fled his homeland because of political persecution (the police records show that he spent several months in prison, where he was tortured). Klimkiewicz does not develop the Algerian subplot, the viewers can only guess that Kahil may have participated in anti-government protests organized at the turn of 2010 and 2011 by the opposition parties, which resulted in three demonstrators getting killed, many others injured and arrested. After a few months of the protests, the authorities agreed to introduce the changes in the Constitution, announced the lifting of the martial law and accepted the demands for democratic elections. ← 188 | 189 →

The theme of an intercultural romance – typical of the diasporic cinema – is a ploy aimed to attract the cinema audiences who are usually uninterested in the problems of immigration or politics. This also explains why Klimkiewicz makes use of stereotypes concerning foreigners.21 Despite her critical ambitions, the plot seems to be heavy with stereotypical structures, especially in the first half of the film, when she introduces the theme of sexual infatuation and refers to the Orientalist fantasies about Arabs as potential lovers or criminals. Orientalism is not only a political tool, but also a system of knowledge, which serves to justify an imperialist vision of the world and to guarantee its control over the subjugated ones. On the one hand, Klimkiewicz confirms stereotypical opinions about the Orient as being full of contradictions – fascinating but torn with internal conflicts – on the other hand, however, she is trying to bring closer the two worlds through the characters’ romance.

Nevertheless, the romantic love affair turns out to be less significant than the political background of the story, as the action of the film is set at the time of military conflicts in the Middle East, after the outbreak of Islamophobia accompanied by the process of radicalization among the Muslim community. These issues also appeared in other British films, such as Yasmin (2004) by Kenneth Glenaan or The Road to Guantanamo (2006) by Michael Winterbottom. It was the time when the Muslims were predominantly presented in the media as jihadists, members of the “fifth column,” and the opponents of democracy or civil rights. Jonathan Birth, who analyzed the phenomenon of Islamophobia, defines it as “a kind of cultural racism (…) producing community of the suffering ones, the aim of which is to unify various ethnic communities by giving them Muslim identity.”22

For centuries, the Orient was presented as a potential threat to European governance; it was something foreign and unknown, which required taming and ordering. At the same time, the Orient was perceived as the source of fascinating ideas, exotic scenery for the romantic visions of poets and writers, and the symbol of carnal temptations and unrestricted manifestations of sexuality.23 Katarzyna ← 189 | 190 → Klimkiewicz elaborates on these seemingly contradictory dimensions when focusing on the emotional relationship of the protagonists. Their uncertainty and fear of betrayal are accompanied by strong sensual infatuation. It should be noted that the Orientalist fantasies always contain an element of value judgment, emphasizing the traits undesirable in Western societies, such as irritability, succumbing to passions, violent behavior and betrayal.

As if following these assumptions, Klimkiewicz presents a deliberately ambiguous image of Kahil. The viewer will never discover the real motives of his actions, because everything we know about him is filtered through Frankie’s eyes. In the beginning, she succumbs to the temptation of an exotic romance; after some time, however, she starts to take on some suspicion. She feels a strong urge to discover the truth about the young man: is he simply her lover, a political refugee or a terrorist? Several clues seem to confirm her concerns – her first meeting with Kahil may not have been accidental, she could have been chosen as a target because of her line of work. One day she bumps into Kahil’s ex-girlfriend in the street and takes this opportunity to learn some disturbing facts about his past. Moreover, she finds the photos and articles on radical Muslim groups in his computer and discovers hidden guns in his apartment. Kahil does not deny having radical views, and blames her for the consequences of the barbaric bombings in which many civilians were killed: “Do you know what they are doing and who your drones kill?” Yet, at the same time, he claims to reject all military actions. “People like you think they know everything but in fact you know nothing”, he tells Frankie in one of the last scenes, just before the deportation, when he finds out that the police and secret services have been tracking him down from the very beginning.

Like the previously mentioned films by Kenneth Glenaan or Michael Winterbottom, Flying Blind shows the change that occurred in the cinema in the last twenty-five years, with the narrative of the Cold War being replaced with the fight against terrorism and the “clash of civilizations” as the main themes in new films. The term “war on terror,” introduced by President George Bush in his speech after the attacks on the World Trade Center, “is often used to describe a special, historically conditioned form of political violence.”24 It should be noted that this term implies actions, both conventional and unconventional, that strengthen stereotypical ideas about Islamic fundamentalism, in spreading of which the mass media and the cinema play a prominent role. 25 ← 190 | 191 →

On the other hand, Samuel Huntington’s vision of the world, based on the concept of a radical disparity of civilizations (rather than cultures), whose members profess different values and, therefore, remain in dispute, has found strong support among conservatives seeking a scientific justification for a unifying perception of reality.26 In this way, the otherness is constructed by a chain of stereotypes, through which minority is seen as a potential threat and the source of all evil. According to Edward W. Said, this strategy of thinking is based on a “presumption of guilt on the part of a man of the Orient; what is more, his crime consists precisely in being the one.”27

The construction of a collective identity requires emotional involvement, not reasoning or clear thinking, and this is exactly what happens to Frankie: as if against her will, she lets herself be guided by her feelings, misinterpretations and prejudices. Behind a romantic story mixed with a thriller, one can notice a political drama that concerns the influx of contemporary immigrants in Western European countries and growing hostility against Muslims. When considering the modern Islamophobia, one should start by asking “to what extent the discrimination and exclusion experienced by Muslims in Europe is driven by religious or cultural, ethnic, racial and class-related factors.”28

When explaining the nature of modern aversion to Muslims, Monika Babako shows some similarities to anti-Semitism. “The target of the attacks are those considered to be irreducibly ‘foreign’ or those who threaten the purity of European/national identity, European/national social order, economic interests, political values and ways of life.”29 In any case, the enemy is defined by a series of mutually exclusive features: as someone weak and at the same time dangerous, someone poor and boasting unlimited financial resources, or someone both barbarous and refined. The conclusion derives from a specific intellectual strategy, which aims to demonstrate the epistemological and ontological differences between East and West.

Katarzyna Klimkiewicz reveals how Islamic terrorists become “orientalized,” when they are associated with stereotypical notions of ruthless, irrational and cruel people of the East, contrasted with rational and democracy-loving citizens ← 191 | 192 → of the West. To some extent, Klimkiewicz’s film follows a scheme once described by Elizabeth Ezra and Terry Rowden, according to which the phenomenon of terrorism in the modern cinema boils down to constructing a negative image of an immigrant as a potential threat, at the same time, presenting foreign cultures as “exotic” (this may be more clearly seen in the Hollywood productions where white Americans save the world from the evil “colored” ones who want to destroy it).30

Homi K. Bhabha was one of the first researchers who drew attention to the fact that after the attacks on the World Trade Center, the modern forms of terrorism began to be viewed as a part of a broader phenomenon, namely, the aforementioned “clash of civilizations.” The British anthropologist added, however, that such a reasoning contributes to the growth of aggression in political discourse, resulting in the birth of “psychosis leading to the persecution of the weak and the oppressed.”31 The Clash of Civilizations implicitly justifies all sorts of actions taken by Western governments in order to eliminate the potential danger. But the opportunity to oppose the terrorist attacks may become possible only when “terrorism begins to be seen as an organized political action and not the result of cultural or civilizational difference.”32

In Flying Blind, Katarzyna Klimkiewicz managed to capture the impact of politics on the lives of ordinary people, and to draw attention to the consequences of unconscious assumptions being made about other cultures. The Polish director does not show any actual terrorist activities and evades clear explanations as to the nature of Kahil’s motivations, leaving them for the viewers to guess. Instead of passing moral judgments or condemning anybody, she remains outside simply looking inside her characters’ world. Her ability to inscribe the important political and social issues in the genre conventions prove to be one of the greatest values of both of her films, which touch the issues of illegal immigration, ethnic identity, intercultural conflict and the dangers brought on by the war on terror. Today these problems are considered both in local and global contexts, and therefore require taking a transnational perspective, which allows us to see the connections between seemingly distant areas. ← 192 | 193 →


Agamben, Giorgio. Homo Sacer. Sovereign Power and Bare Life. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998.

Anh, Đàm Vân and Katarzyna Klimkiewicz. “Do tej pory to ja byłam obca.” Warszawa wielu kultur. 2010. (10 Sept. 2016).

Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.

Babako, Monika. “Islamofobia – między “krytyką religii” a rasizmem kulturowym.” Recykling Idei, Vol. 14, 2012/2013. (10 Sept. 2016).

Bennett, Bruce. “Framing Terror: Cinema, Docudrama and the ‘War on Terror’.” Studies in Documentary Film, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2010, 209–225.

Bhabha, Homi K. “Terror and After….” In: Transnational Cinema: The Film Reader, eds. Elizabeth Ezra and Terry Rowden. London: Routledge, 2006, pp. 197–198.

Birt, Jonathan. “Islamophobia in the Construction of British Muslim Identity Politics.” In: Muslims in Britain: Race, Place and Identities, eds. Peter Hopkins and Richard Gale. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009, pp. 210–227.

Dal Lago, Alessandro. Non-Persons. The Exclusion of Migrants in a Global Society. Milano: IPOC Press, 2009.

Ezra, Elizabeth and Terry Rowden. “General Introduction: What is Transnational Cinema?” In: Transnational Cinema: The Film Reader, eds. Elizabeth Ezra and Terry Rowden. London: Routledge, 2006, pp. 1–12.

Higbee, Will. “Beyond the (Trans)national: Toward a Cinema of Transvergence in Postcolonial and Diasporic Francophone Cinema(s).” Studies in French Cinema, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2007, pp. 79–91.

Higbee, Will and Song Hwee Lim. “Concepts of Transnational Cinema: Towards a Critical Transnationalism in Film Studies.” Transnational Cinemas, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2010, pp. 7–21.

Higson, Andrew. “The Limiting Imagination of National Cinema.” In: Cinema and Nation, eds. Mette Hjort and Scott MacKenzie. London: Routledge, 2000, pp. 63–74.

Hjort, Mette. “On the Plurality of Cinematic Transnationalism.” In: World Cinemas, Transnational Perspectives, eds. Natasa Ďurovičová and Kathleen Newman. London: Routledge, 2010, pp. 12–33.

Huntington, Samuel. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York and London: Simon and Schuster, 1996. ← 193 | 194 →

Jóźwiak, Ignacy, Anna Piłat, Justyna Segeš Frelak, Kinga Wysieńska and Mirosław Bieniecki. “Migracje społeczności z Azji i Bliskiego Wschodu na świecie i do Polski – stan badań i opracowanie na temat wybranych krajów.” In: Mała Azja w Polsce. Plany i strategie imigrantów z Azji i Bliskiego Wschodu, eds. Anna Piłat, Justyna Segeš Frelak and Kinga Wysieńska. Warsaw: Instytut Spraw Publicznych, 2013.

Loska, Krzysztof. “Ciała na sprzedaż – mroczna strona globalizacji.” Kwartalnik Filmowy, No. 83–84, 2013, pp. 306–316.

Mazierska, Ewa and Michael Goddard. “Introduction: Polish Cinema beyond Polish Borders.” In: Polish Cinema in a Transnational Context, eds. Ewa Mazierska and Michael Goddard. Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2014, pp. 1–20.

Naficy, Hamid. An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Pędziwiatr, Konrad. “Imigranci w Polsce i wyzwania integracyjne.” Studia BAS, Vol. 4, No. 40, 2014, 137–138.

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Said, Edward W. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books, 1978.

Said, Edward W. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.

Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Can Subaltern Speak?” In: The Post-colonial Studies Reader, eds. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin. London and New York: Routledge, 1995, pp. 28–37.

Virilio, Paul. War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception. New York: Verso, 1989.

1 See Andrew Higson, “The Limiting Imagination of National Cinema,” in: Cinema and Nation, eds. M. Hjort and S. MacKenzie (London: Routledge, 2000), pp. 63–74. Mette Hjort, “On the Plurality of Cinematic Transnationalism,” in: World Cinemas, Transnational Perspectives, eds. Nataša Ďurovičová and Kathleen Newman (London: Routledge, 2010), pp. 12–33.

2 Ewa Mazierska, Michael Goddard, “Introduction: Polish Cinema beyond Polish Borders,” in: Polish Cinema in a Transnational Context, eds. Ewa Mazierska and Michael Goddard (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2014), pp. 3–4.

3 See Will Higbee, Song Hwee Lim, “Concepts of Transnational Cinema: Towards a Critical Transnationalism in Film Studies,” Transnational Cinemas, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2010), pp. 7–21.

4 See Arjun Appadurai, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996), pp. 33–36.

5 One may find a similar approach in Edward W. Said’s texts, when he writes that “all cultures are involved in one another, none is single and pure, all are hybrid, heterogeneous, extraordinarily differentiated, and monolithic.” See Culture and Imperialism (New York, Vintage Books, 1994), p. XXV.

6 Having graduated from the Lodz Film School, Katarzyna Klimkiewicz (b. 1977) made a documentary Labirynt Krystiana Lupy (The Labirynth of Krystian Lupa, 2003) presenting the work of the eminent Polish theatre director. Her later projects clearly followed a transnational model of production: she made a short film in Berlin Wasserschlacht: The Great Border Battle (2007) about the residents of two neighboring districts in Berlin: Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, followed by a feature film made in Israel Nic do stracenia (Nothing to Lose, 2009) – a story of two young Jews who roam the country.

7 See Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?,” in: The Post-colonial Studies Reader, eds. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffin (London and New York: Routledge, 1995), pp. 28–37.

8 I am using the term „orientalism“ in Edward W. Said’s understanding.

9 A notion of the diasporic cinema is an ambiguous category that refers both to the concept of an accented cinema suggested by Hamid Naficy, An Accented Cinema: Exilic and Diasporic Filmmaking (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), and to Will Higbee’s theory of transvergence, “Beyond the (Trans)national: Toward a Cinema of Transvergence in Postcolonial and Diasporic Francophone Cinema(s),” Studies in French Cinema, Vol. 7, No. 2 (2007), pp. 79–91.

10 According to the UN definition: “Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs” (Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000).

11 See Alessandro Dal Lago, Non-Persons. The Exclusion of Migrants in a Global Society (Milano: IPOC Press, 2009), pp. 231–232.

12 When writing about refugees and migrants, Giorgio Agamben claims that “the separation between humanitarianism and politics that we are experiencing today is the extreme phase of the separation of the rights of man from the rights of the citizen.” Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer. Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998), p. 183.

13 Đàm Vân Anh, Katarzyna Klimkiewicz, “Do tej pory to ja byłam obca,” Warszawa wielu kultur (2010), 15 August 2017,

14 According to the data of December 2013, 121,000 non-EU residents were the valid permanent residence cardholders in Poland. In the last five years, this figure has risen by 44,000. Most migrants come from the countries of the former Soviet Union, but a significant number (11%) includes the Vietnamese. See Konrad Pędziwiatr, “Imigranci w Polsce i wyzwania integracyjne,” Studia BAS, No. 4 (40) (2014), pp. 137–138.

15 A history of the Vietnamese diaspora in Poland dates back to the late 1960s when a lot of young Vietnamese, who had fled from their war-stricken homeland, studied at Polish universities. The second wave of immigration came with political changes in Vietnam in the late 1980s.

16 In 2006, Anna Gajewska made a short documentary Warszawiacy (Varsovians), in which the Vietnamese tell about the reasons for which they had come to Poland and describe their life in exile.

17 A medium-length film Making of ‘Hanoi-Warszawa’ made by Marta Ambrosiewicz and Paweł Gliński for the Kino Polska TV channel brings a lot of interesting details on the work by Katarzyna Klimkiewicz.

18 For human trafficking in contemporary cinema, see Krzysztof Loska, “Ciała na sprzedaż – mroczna strona globalizacji,” Kwartalnik Filmowy, No. 83–84 (2013), pp. 306–316.

19 See Ignacy Jóźwiak, Anna Piłat, Justyna Segeš Frelak, Kinga Wysieńska and Mirosław Bieniecki, “Migracje społeczności z Azji i Bliskiego Wschodu na świecie i do Polski – stan badań i opracowanie na temat wybranych krajów,” in: Mała Azja w Polsce. Plany i strategie imigrantów z Azji i Bliskiego Wschodu (Warsaw: Instytut Spraw Publicznych, 2013), p. 79.

20 Anh, Klimkiewicz, Do tej pory to ja byłam obca.

21 A romance between the representatives of different ethnic groups is a popular theme in British cinema set in South-Asian diasporic communities: Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987, Stephen Frears), My Son the Fanatic (1997, Udayan Prasad), East is East (1999, Damien O’Donnell), Ae Fond Kiss… (2004, Ken Loach) and Nina’s Heavenly Delights (2006, Pratibha Parmar).

22 Jonathan Birt, “Islamophobia in the Construction of British Muslim Identity Politics,” in: Muslims in Britain. Race, Place and Identities, eds. Peter Hopkins and Richard Gale (Edinburg: Edinburgh University Press, 2009), p. 217.

23 See Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon Books, 1978).

24 Bruce Bennett, “Framing Terror: Cinema, Docudrama and the ‘War on Terror’,” Studies in Documentary Film, Vol. 4, No. 3 (2010), p. 210.

25 See Bennett, “Framing Terror,” p. 222. On complex relations between the cinema and military technologies, see Paul Virilio, War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception (New York: Verso, 1989). In the establishing sequence of his Four Lions (2010), Chris Morris mocks the way terrorists use the media.

26 See Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York and London: Simon and Schuster, 1996).

27 Said, Orientalism, p. 77.

28 Monika Babako, “Islamofobia – między „krytyką religii“ a rasizmem kulturowym,” Recykling Idei, No. 14 (2012/2013), p. 15.

29 Babako, “Islamofobia,” pp. 21–22.

30 Elizabeth Ezra and Terry Rowden, “General Introduction: What is Transnational Cinema?,” in: Transnational Cinema: The Film Reader, eds. Elizabeth Ezra and Terry Rowden (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 12. The final part of the book is titled Tourists and Terrorists.

31 Homi K. Bhabha, “Terror and After,” in: Transnational Cinema: The Film Reader, eds. Elizabeth Ezra and Terry Rowden (London: Routledge, 2006), p. 197.

32 Bhabha, “Terror and After,” p. 198.