Scene from the film The Hamlet Syndrome
Scene from the film The Hamlet Syndrome
Scene from the film The Hamlet Syndrome
Scene from the film The Hamlet Syndrome
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The Hamlet Syndrome

  • Germany
  • Poland
Audio Tracks 

A few months prior to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, five young women and men participate in a unique stage production that attempts to relate their war experiences to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. For each of them, the stage is a platform to express their grief and trauma through the famous question, “to be or not to be,” a dilemma that applies to their own lives. The protagonists fight against disappointment, powerlessness, and anger, trying to put their lives back in order while processing their painful past: SLAVIK, who went through a hell of war and captivity as a soldier, KATYA, who longs for her mother’s forgiveness for joining the army, RODION, who escaped from Donbas and is now facing growing homophobia, ROMAN, who is still struggling with the traumatic memories of his war experience as a paramedic on the battlefield, and Oxana who struggles on an artistic frontline as an actress. The rehearsals for the play are combined with an intense glimpse into the characters' lives: a powerful portrait of a generation coping with the trauma of war which, after Russia's invasion, is now their present and future alike.


  • Original title
    Syndrom Hamleta
  • Direction
  • DOP
    Piotr Rosołowski
  • Editing
    Agata Cierniak
  • Sound
    Marcin Lenarczyk, Jarosław Sadowski
  • Duration
    86 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Germany
    • Poland
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Awards
    • Golden Hobby-Horse | Krakow Film Festival 2022, Poland
    • Grand Prix, SRG SRR Award, Boccalino d’oro | Locarno Film Festival 2022, Switzerland
    • Best documentary film | Adelaide International Film Festival 2022, Australia
    • Special mention | BIDF Budapest International Documentary Festival 2023, Hungary
    • Best documentary film, Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa Award | Trieste Film Festival 2023, Italy
    • Special Jury Prize for the Most Original and Innovative Film | Millenium Film Festival 2023, Belgium
    • Jury Award | Hong Kong International Film Festival 2023, Hong Kong is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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