Directing Award: World Cinema Documentary Many of us know the freedom of our twenties—unfettered by responsibilities or mortality, inventing ourselves in the rush of the moment. All These Sleepless Nights viscerally summons that feeling, chronicling a Warsaw summer when art school classmates Kris and Michal resolve to experience life to the limit. Who will they meet, and what will they discover about relationships and themselves? What existential realities will thwart them? After Kris breaks up with his long-time girlfriend, anything seems possible. He and Michal, handsome and wide-eyed, roam the metropolis at night, floating from party to party and encounter to encounter. As they chain-smoke, drink, and dance with abandon to pulsing DJ rhythms in city squares and makeshift clubs, big ideas are as palpable as the romance and sex in the air. Filmmaker Michal Marczak paints a picture of a Warsaw suspended between its traumatic past and a future powered by a new generation bursting with energy. At the same time, his fluid, dreamlike shooting and editing style, reminiscent of the French New Wave’s spirit of discovery and iconoclasm, reminds us that this story of youthful adventure, like a picaresque novel, is timeless.
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