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Blackmen in Florence

12 December 2018
  Teatr Nowy Proxima in Krakow

Directed by:

Iwona Kempa


Vedrana Rudan


110 min.


50 / 30

As usual for Iwona Kempa, the first plane is occupied by the text, actors’ roles, and complex family relationships that build up a grotesque charade. Today, the mosaic arranged along such a hierarchy is a rarity on stage, and this spells merit.

The tragicomedy starts at the beginning, when two foetuses, afraid of being aborted, demand being named and recognised as humans in a call for security and guarantee of life. This is hardest to obtain. We find ourselves in the very centre of a ruthless world, whose greatest horror is evil and good mingling into a peculiar hybrid, while war and peace have no discerning frontiers, whether in memory or in the daily life. The line of the front runs everywhere.

The reality is superimposed on self like a tectonic plate of an aggressive rock mass, it is multi-layered and can cave in on any protagonist with all its weight at any time. The lack of illusions emanates from the harsh tongue the Croatian writer and Iwona Kempa use to tell the tale of a Croatian family, broken and yet sticking together.

The protagonists are together not to protect one another against the cruelties of this world but to deal pain to one another. Every gesture and word hurts. Every protagonist explodes with post-war emotions or implodes because of the past dramatic stress disorder. Women use cruelty to defend themselves against the brutality of men. Silence is as painful as yelling.

The destruction of war triggered smaller calamities: failures in finding employment, and problems with education and adjustment to capitalist reality. However, the most heart rending is the answer to the question whether someone will finally opt for an armistice.


Director and Set Designer: Iwona Kempa

Text: Vedrana Rudan

Lights: Wojciech Kiwacz


Elżbieta Karkoszka, Anna Tomaszewska, Martyna Krzysztofik, Jacek Romanowski, Sławomir Maciejewski, Maciej Sajur i Juliusz Chrząstowski