The eponymous Zhalanash is a port city over the Aral Sea. This place, between a great water and a vast desert, which used to be a prosperous link of the Soviet economy, is just a shadow of its former glory today. In Marcin Sauter’s film, Zhalanash is not only about an evocative landscape, but above all about the fates of people who invested their hopes and expectations into the place between the sea and the desert, and now ponder their solitude among the wrecks of ships and port cranes.
Marcin Sauter is a photographer, cinematographer and film director. Born in 1971 in Bydgoszcz, Poland. A member of the Association of Polish Art Photographers, he has had several dozen individual exhibitions of his photography. He teaches at the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing, and has established the Bydgoszcz Newsreel foundation. His adventure with cinema started in 1997 when he cooperated with Maciej Cuske on the feature film What Do You Think About It, Gałuszko? Then he continued with documentaries such as The Travelling Cinema, North from Calabria and Hakawati.
The Travelling Cinema (2005), North from Calabria (2009), Hakawati (2011), Zhalanash – An Empty Shore (2017)