The film Love Europe World of Zygmunt Bauman, by Krzysztof Rzączyński, was released 12 May on DVD, coinciding with the publication of Zygmunt Bauman’s Culture in a Liquid Modern World. The movie was commissioned by the National Audiovisual Institute as a part of the Cultural Program of the Polish EU Presidency in 2011, and is available in its entirety for three days (12–15 May) on NInA websites: culturecongress.eu, nina.gov.pl, dwutygodnik.com, and biweekly.pl.
The documentary, which runs just under one hour, consists of four parts: “Culture”, “Europe”, “The World”, and “Himself”. Zygmunt Bauman’s reflections on the culture and times in which we live (“Ours is not a culture of learning, but of forgetting,” “The ultimate result of the blossoming of culture, which we have undoubtedly witnessed in the passing years, is a feeling of having gone astray”) and Europe’s role in building a global order (“Europe is good at developing the skills needed to live with communities that are different from our own,” “No claim about the superiority of one culture over another can be sustained today”) are interspersed with more personal themes.
The creators of the film have succeeded in painting a portrait of one of the world’s most important sociologists, augmenting it with his family story, thanks to interviews with his daughters and private conversations with other important characters. Zygmunt Bauman’s famous unwillingness to discuss his personal life makes this insight all the more precious (when prompted with such questions, the professor describes them as “the most boring of all the subjects he could talk about.”)
The footage was shot in Leeds, where Zygmunt Bauman and his two younger daughters Lidia and Irena live, in Warsaw, where in November the professor was awarded the Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, and in Tel Aviv, where his oldest daughter Anna Sfard resides.
The creators of the film, director Krzysztof Rzączyński and cameraman Michał Popiel-Machnicki, received several awards for their previous documentary, My Father, The Iron Curtain, and Me (the story of Andrzej Panufnik and his son), including the Grand Prix at the National Independent Documentary Review, a distinction at last year’s Planet Doc Review, a nomination to the Golden Nymph at the Monte Carlo Television Festival, and a nomination in the category of “Best Current Affairs Production” at New York’s History Makers Awards.