Our Class



October 13 / 8 pm / Princely Serbian Theatre

Production: City Drama Theatre "Gavella", Zagreb / Croatia

Duration: 110 min

Photography: Hrvoje Zalukar
Our Class layers and dramatically presents the story of a group of schoolchildren - Polish Catholics and Jews - from a small Polish town, who experienced Soviet and German occupation, whose repression awakens the demons of cruelty and violence in "ordinary people." Children's dreams and youthful infatuations dissipate, and friends of yesteryear become nemeses, ready to do things they did not think themselves capable of... 1925 is the year in which Słobodzianek sets the beginning of his simultaneously poetic and documentary account of the environment that nationalism and Nazism were disintegrating beyond recognition and which was, carried by historical acceleration, pushed towards the later catastrophe caused by Stalinist and Nazi indoctrination. Our Class poses the question of the "banality of evil", but also of collective guilt: can time drown what we once committed into oblivion, or can such deep wounds not heal without acknowledgement and repentance? This drama, successfully performed on many stages in Europe, is based on a true event, and the author's approach takes it towards a poignant theatrical vivisection, using the experiences of Brechtian estrangement and the methods of performance unique to the theater, which simultaneously attracts and terrifies us...


"This is precisely the most prominent idea of the text, which in the suggestive direction of Jasmin Novljaković, refined in every detail, through the idea of the participants in the massacre as fiends (souls of the dead) inhabiting the bodies of the actors, gets an even more impactful vision of the horrors of the past events, none of which presently occurring in Ukraine, which borders with Poland, are significantly different. In addition, this approach of the actor’s strong connection with the person they not only portray but also in a certain way absorb, points to those depths of the humanity in which the willingness to give in to evil that was immanent not only to the students in Our Class, but through this fascinating performance it can be glimpsed not only in the actors but in the audience as well. Such a layering of meaning, shaped by the director Novljaković’s original solutions, made the staging of Słobodzianek`s text a superb performance."
© Tomislav Kurelec, KAZALIŠTE.hr, 25. travnja 2022.      
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