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39:13 min - Documentary - United States
29th April 2014
The documentary, "Freedom on the Fence", captures the boldness of Polish posters and the unbridled creativity released by uniting traditional art and graphic design. The irony and satirical approach to Polish poster design may offend some today in the United States, but I think they were completely effective in the sense that they were made to communicate and to be memorable.
Posters were the channel of expressing opinions during the collapse of Communism and allowed artist to reach a people who had been restricted and oppressed by the tragedies of World War II. Without the demolition of Warsaw, this movement would not have been nearly as strong since the new Warsaw was surrounded by fences—a perfect location for posters. Cleverness in concepting the message was key for the artists while using satire to skirt around the strict censorship of that time. The ability to concept designs to this extent is very impressive considering one piece delivers two separate messages—one for the people and one for the government. The designs were bold visually, and the designers were bolder since they could have faced punishment for going against the political regime.
I give this "Freedom on the Fence" five stars because it captured history and my interest for the entire 45 minutes. I particularly enjoyed the Polish style—saturated color, humorous content, and bold illustrations that had a good eye for line quality and texture, but the incorporation of historic film sequences, interviews from multiple artists, as well as full-detailed shots of the posters made the documentary entertaining. Unlike many foreign-based films, the interviews were spoken with clear English and were presented in the casual setting of the artists' current studio. The informal setting was good eye-candy and emphasized the idea that graphic design and fine art does not have to be separate entities. For those interested in the history of graphic design, WWII, or both, this documentary (and trailer) is a must see!
29th April 2014
So I highly recommend this to any lover of art, but even more so to film lovers who have an interest in the history of film, as it's easy to forget that film isn't just about what you see up on the screen, as there's a whole other level of interesting subject matters, such as the making of's, the promotion, and even looking back on them years later as times and ideas have changed.