16 mm film transferred to HD, 31 minutes (clip)
Sharon Lockhart’s new film, Pódworka, takes as its subject matter the courtyards of Lodz, Poland, and the children that inhabit them. A ubiquitous architectural element of the city, Lodz’ courtyards are the playgrounds of the children that live in the surrounding apartment buildings. Separated from the streets, they provide a sanctuary from the traffic and commotion of the city. Yet far from the overdetermined playgrounds of America, the courtyards are still very much urban environments. In six different courtyards throughout the city of Lodz, we see parking lots, storage units, and metal armatures become jungle gyms, sandboxes, and soccer fields in the children’s world. A series of fleeting interludes within city life, Pódworka is both a study of a specific place and an evocation of the resourcefulness of childhood.