Neon

Electric... Merging design, politics and history in an ambitiously innovative project
- Central and Eastern European London Review

A gorgeous film
- Tenderloin Museum San Francisco

WATCH IT ON

Documentary Film  |  Poland  |  52 min  |  2014

Neon traces the history of the Communist-era neon signs of Warsaw, Poland, the context that generated them, the people and places connected with them, and the many meanings they have acquired since they were created.

After 1956, and well into the 1970s, the Soviet-backed Polish regime took it upon itself to brighten up a city which for the most part had become dark and drab. Following its grim post-War Stalinist reconstruction, Warsaw, it was decided, was to be "neonized." The neons were intended to convey a feeling of modernity and progress in a country cut off from the West. Socialist-blessed, they nevertheless mimicked the colour, dazzle and glamour of post-War capitalist cities.

 

Today, these neon signs are celebrated and much sought after. In recent years interest in them has grown not only in Poland, but also abroad. This has not stopped the majority of the Warsaw neons being neglected and forgotten, however. Where there were once hundreds of original neon signs, fewer and fewer functioning ones now grace the buildings of the Polish capital.

AWARDS

JURY SPECIAL

AWARD

Zakopane Festival of Films about Art

2018

BEST

DOCUMENTARY

Architecture & Design

Master of Art Festival

2016

BEST

DOCUMENTARY

 in the Design Arts

33rd FIFA,

Montreal

2015

FESTIVALS

  • Architecture and Design Film Festival 

  • Arquiteturas Film Festival 

  • Budapest Architecture Film Days

  • Docs Against Gravity Film Festival 

  • Ekran Polish Film Festival 

  • Fine Arts Film Festival 

  • International Festival of Films on Art 

  • Lund International Architecture Film Festival 

  • Master of Art Film Festival

  • Milano Design Festival 

  • Nic Się Tu Nie Dzieje 

  • Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival 

  • Seattle Polish Film Festival

  • Urban Eye Festival 

  • Vancouver Polish Film Festival

  • Zakopane Festival of Films about Art

  • KRAFTA Doc International Film Festival

  • Hell's Half Mile Film & Music Festival

  • Facebook

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THE TEAM

Eric Bednarski

Paweł Potoroczyn

Ryszard Urbaniak

Dorota Przyłubska

Jacek Knopp

Andrzej Wojciechowski

Tomasz Król

Michał Pałka-Keff

Rafał Samborski, PSM

Katarzyna Zajączkowska

Daniel Bloom

Jacek Nowakowski

WRITER/DIRECTOR

PRODUCER

PRODUCER

PRODUCER

CINEMATOGRAPHER

CINEMATOGRAPHER

CINEMATOGRAPHER

CINEMATOGRAPHER

EDITOR

EDITOR

ORIGINAL MUSIC/COMPOSER

SOUND

PRODUCED BY

Culture.pl, TVP Kultura, Pado Studio Film

FEATURED IN

Eric Bednarski’s electric account
of Warsaw’s City Lights

In this award-winning documentary, director Eric Bednarski traces the history of Poland’s capital through the city’s neon lights – merging design, politics and history in an ambitiously innovative project. It’s a retelling of Polish history, so often the subject of grand films that exploit the emotional weight of its traumatic turns from Nazism to Stalinism.

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