Lodz – the neighborhood that was once the last stop in the life of thousands of Prague's Jews is today inhabited by the desperate and destitute. Interviews with survivors of the ghetto are juxtaposed with the hopeless lives of its contemporary inhabitants.

These same homes and houses, these same streets where many years ago Jews spent every moment fighting for survival, are today inhabited by new residents. Before World War II, Baluty was a feared crime-ridden neighborhood. Immediately after occupying Poland, the Nazis established a Jewish ghetto here, which housed 200,000 Jews waiting for their death. After the autumn of 1941, they were joined by Jews from five Czech transports. Life in the poor, working-class district of the industrial town of Lodz is marked by poverty, alcohol and unemployment. Baluty then and Baluty now have much in common. Images from the past and present of this stigmatized place are brought together by interviews with the area's original and current inhabitants and reporter Henryk Ross's unique photographs from the distant past.

While traveling to Lodz, director Pavel Štingl and cameraman Miroslav Janek ran into photographer Karel Cudlín, whose photographs created during filming make up this accompanying exhibit. By screening the film together with the exhibition, we have created a unique project in which Cudlín's contemporary photographs hold up a mirror to Ross's wartime images used in the film.

2008 FITES - TRILOBIT award for director Pavel Štingl
nominated for a 2008 Czech Lion in the documentary category
awards at the Crossroads of Europe festival in Lublin, Poland, 2009
honorable mention at the Sztuka Dokumentu festival in Warsaw, Poland, 2010

Directed by: Pavel Štingl, 88 minutes

Dramaturgy: Hana Jemelíková, Lenka Poláková
Camera: Miroslav Janek
Editing: Tonička Janková
Sound: Michael Míček, Daniel Němec
Executive producer: Ondřej Zima
Financial support: State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinema, Polish Film Institute
Support: Archive of Modern Conflict/Collection Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Distributor: K2 s.r.o