“Point Zero. The Kindly Ones” by Provisorium Theatre at the 23rd Festival

On Thursday 23 March Provisorium Theatre from Lublin presented “Point Zero. The Kindly Ones” directed by Janusz Opryński. The presentation took place in Opus Film. 

“Point Zero. The Kindly Ones” reaches for the story of Max Aue, described by Jonathan Littell in his book. Aue was the executioner, a German officer, a member of an elite group called masters of death, who took an active part in the extermination of Jews. 

After the spectacle there was a meeting with its creators. During the conversation with Łukasz Drewniak who moderated the meeting Janusz Opryński said that he needed to produce the play – according to an expression by Zygmunt Bauman, it was a need to „imagine unimaginable”, to describe the Holocaust from the executioner's point of view. Littell set a trap in his book and the trap caused the reader to like Max Aue, the executioner. The most horrifying thing, as Bauman and Littell bring to our attention is the fact that massive extermination could happen only in progressive modernity and educated people, humanists, were its authors. It can happen again – Opryński said.

The spectacle touches also the problem of guilt. Who is to blame for the Holocaust? Is it the author of the idea of extermination system or is it everyone who indirectly contributes to a victim's death? Is it the man who opened the semaphore and turned on a tap in gas chamber? Is the status of extermination witness as obvious as the culprit's guilt? Is a witness of the extermination not guilty? There are many similar questions, a lot of them have not been answered yet. Why is there „Point Zero” in the title? First part of the title refers to an expression used by Hungarian author Imre Kertész who said that constructing of gas chamber during WWII was a point zero in history.

The director and other creators said that after the work on the spectacle they could not be indifferent to the subject and that it stayed with them for long. 

Janusz Opryński
“Point Zero. The Kindly Ones”
Director and script: Janusz Opryński
Music: Rafał Rozmus
Set design: Jerzy Rudzki
Costumes: Monika Nyckowska
Cast: Eliza Borowska, Agata Góral, Jacek Brzeziński, Sławomir Grzymkowski, Artur Krajewski, Łukasz Lewandowski