Railway Station Ballad
About IDFA
Railway Station Ballad
IDFA 2003

Railway Station Ballad

Dworcowa ballada
Andrzej Celinski
44 min
Festival history
The Moscow subway is teeming with young, homeless children. They sleep anywhere and everywhere. Dirty, grubby, barefoot and with hands extended for passers-by to put coins in. The camera sometimes follows the children from a distance, like a spy, but they also address it directly. They sing a song or talk about their lives in the underground passageways. One boy ran away from home after stabbing his stepfather, because he beat him. Every child has a unique story to tell. When they are all dancing, singing or playing together, it almost seems romantic, especially with an added party music-track. One might almost believe that they are happy to be free. But their lives are obviously very harsh. They are beaten and chased off by shop owners and policemen. When the frustration gets too strong to bear or when they have too much to drink, the children make each other’s life miserable. The most shocking aspect is that, as a group, they torment and beat up homeless adults. All their different moods are addressed, their lives from all angles, without attention to causes, solutions or questions of guilt.
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