The Palace of Culture and Science has a somewhat forbidding presence on Warsaw’s skyline — in Flying Condition, filmmaker Piotr Matejkowski takes us inside the imposing structure to discover a hive of activity and meet Ola, an aspiring gymnast and swimmer.
Constantly training, young Ola is hardly ever on solid ground. Flying Condition explores the behaviour of the body in air and water, and its movement across what the director describes as the “illusive, thin line” between the two, through a cinematography that manages to convey Ola’s strength and poise, while also communicating her ambition and anxiety.
Constructed in 1955, the Palace of Culture and Science is Poland’s tallest building. Originally known as the Joseph Stalin Palace of Culture and Science, the building was designed by Soviet architect Lev Rudnev in the “Seven Sisters” Stalinist style. Now the building houses a number of companies and public institutions, as well as sports facilities, concert halls, cinemas, theatres and libraries.