Does the Rising Sun Affright
Film program accompanying the exhibition

Zachęta | cinema room (entrance from Burschego street)
free entry

18.05, Saturday, 2:30 pm
19.05, Sunday, 1 p.m.

curator of the film program: Aleksandra Ławska

The presentation of five short films accompanying the exhibition "Does the Rising Sun Affright”, focuses on visual interpretations of Timothy Morton's dark ecology theory. The growing trend of exploring ecological themes in short filmmaking in recent years contributes to the development of a more critical, conscious, and multi-layered perspective.

Filmmakers create their own worlds in their works, concentrating on dystopian and utopian visions of the future. They examine the concept of ecological awareness and analyze the consequences of living in a climate crisis. They turn towards a non-human perspective, showing a broader understanding of biodiversity. They scrutinize species discrimination, exposing power dynamics between humans and nature.

It is not only a visual exploration but also an intellectual one, reflected in various means of expression and the richness of the film language. The films blend analog elements with CGI, use found footage, and experiment with camera movement and types. All these techniques incorporate the metaphorical and poetic potential of the film language, combining ecological observations with a captivating visual narrative.

Programme (total screening time: 63 minutes)

Under the North Sea
Federico Barni, Alberto Allica
Wielka Brytania, 2020, 17’


One kilometer underneath the cliffs of North Yorkshire, two very different tribes come face to face everyday. Since the late 80s, when the deepest dark matter research laboratory in the UK was built in the salt mine at Boulby, miners and research scientists have been working side by side in the underground network. In the darkness of this extreme environment, a young woman finds a new future. Scored with a soundtrack made entirely from underground recordings, this sensorial mosaic reveals a fragile equilibrium, a dimension in which utopian and dystopian futures coexist.

Unboxing Eden
Francja, Niemcy, 2013, 3’


Snake breeders and their animals. The film documents the arrival, breeding and handling of snakes in all shapes and sizes. A collage about pride and hidden fear, questioning who is in control of whom.

Mona Keil
Niemcy, 2023, 5’


A bunch of round, moist creatures slather each other with an oozy juice. They share their world with pesky little bugs, but one day they squash them all. In response, the creatures start to run dry.

The Newt Congress
Matthias Sahli, Immanuel Esser
Szwajcaria 2022, 16’


For years now, giant talking newts have been used both for their labour and as laboratory animals. The Newt Congress takes place at a conference building surrounded by nature where participants have come together to optimize the exploitation of the animals. The short film is a free adaptation of Karel Čapek’s “War with the Newts”.

Look then Below
Ben Rivers
Wielka Brytania 2018, 21’


The film conjures up futuristic beings from an eerie smoke filled landscape and the depths of the earth. Look Then Below was shot in the vast, dark passages of Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset. The netherworld of chambers, carved out over deep time, once held remnants of lost civilisations, now foretell a future subterranean world, occupied by a species evolved from our environmentally challenged world. Part three of a trilogy of speculative films with text written by Mark von Schlegell.

event accompanying the exhibition
  • 15.03 – 26.05.2024
    Does the Rising Sun affright
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
Upcoming events
  • 16.06 (Sun) 12:15
    Tears of Joy
    Performative guided tour of the exhibition by Alka Nauman
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 18.06 (Tue) 18:00
    The first meeting of the Zachęta Book Club
    Zachęta | cinema room (entrance from Burschego street)cinema room
  • 19.06 (Wed) 18:00
    Anatomy of a relationship with nature
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta Project RoomZPR
  • 20.06 (Thu) 18:00
    Disability Aesthetics
    Zachęta | cinema room (entrance from Burschego street)cinema room
  • 21.06 (Fri) 12:15
    Oprowadzanie dla dorosłych 60+ po wystawie Łzy szczęścia
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 19.07 – 20.07.2024
    Anger exercises
    (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta