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There has been some consternation over the availability of the council chamber for this event while local groups have not been able to get anywhere near the place. Certainly on Saturday evening the place was abuzz with a very large number of people none of whom I recognised.
The Town Hall itself scrubs up OK with darkened windows and all its routine functional bits hidden behind boards bearing neon writing. The foyer was given over to little knots of people standing about with glasses of complimentary wine, and some guardians making sure none of the wine went upstairs? Upstairs were plaques in a variety of languages. Luckily one of them was in English so I could see just how angry the author is about what has happened in Israel - he claims that the watermelons in the kibbutz are now less ripe. Which is one if the factors prompting the motivation for a Jewish renaissance in Poland.
I went into the council chamber. Yep, just like that. I had been in there once before some years ago and I remember making my way through folds of heavy plastic sheeting as though on the approach to some immensely dangerous and unapproachable hazard. On Saturday it was just like walking into a cinema, only darker (there was a gap between showings). The councillors' chairs which I remember as being leather with the stuffing spilling out, were draped in loose red plush and very comfortable. The chamber is not ideal for a film showing given the proximity and angle of many of the seats (I got a bad one) but still I got the gist.
Obviously being determined to make my own judgement I had read nothing in advance of the detail of the films on show so a Jewish Renaissance in Poland was the extent of my prior knowledge. This led me to ask a number of questions, about the film I saw, which is the middle one of a trilogy. Why do they only have 24 hours to build a jewish settlement in Warsaw? What is this - "Challenge Anneka"? And why is it being done in the form of an Amish Barn Raising? And why when the settlement is complete does it look like a WWII prisoner of war camp complete with barbed wire? And won't the city council be cross that one of their open spaces has been settled upon in this way?