Image for The Earth Will Swallow It All


The Earth Will Swallow It All


In the 1990s, a period of rapid modernisation in Poland brought about anxiety and fear inflicted by the hegemonic order, alongside a complete disregard for the social costs. This film recalls the traumatic experiences of this period.

As Poland entered a new capitalist economy in the 1990s, waves of mine closures wrought havoc on communities in Upper Silesia. In The Earth Will Swallow It All, the negative effects of this modernisation, both spiritual and geological, find apocalyptic expression through the image of a town literally sinking beneath the weight of its own destruction. Oral histories from miners' families come back to themes of family, community and self-worth, illustrating how the speakers’ relationships with each of these have been transformed, upended or severed by the radical change of context imposed upon them.

In rhythmic collage, visual sculptures in languages variously scientific and poetic express a hauntology of social dispossession common to workers of all kinds across the country - in this period and beyond. Whether in the immersive graphic representation of seismic data or the cosmic mysticism portrayed in archival newsreel footage, the overwhelming feeling is of the search for meaning on shifting ground.

Oisín Kealy

Director filmography: Figure Study (2020), Resistance (2019), Two Scenes (2017), Shaping Small Damages (2016), Versus (2014), A Film About The School (2014), See You All (2012), Campers (2012)

  • Director Dominik Ritszel
  • Country Poland
  • Year 2022
  • Duration 9m
  • UK Premiere


Bill Douglas Award 4: Absurdity of labour, pt. 2

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