EMIGRANTEN by Slawomir Mrozek & Mehrdad Khameneh


By Slawomir Mrozek & Mehrdad Khameneh

  • Release Date: 2012-03-30
  • Genre: Performing Arts
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Slawomir Mrožek
(*1930) is a Polish dramatist, prose writer and cartoonist, whose works explore alienation, abuse of power, conformity and the limitations of human freedom under a totalitarian system. He often uses surrealistic humor and grotesque situations to reveal the distorted beliefs of his characters.His most famous plays include Tango (1964) and Emigrants (1974). After spending 33 years abroad, Mrožek returned to Poland in 1997.
About Emigranten
This play is a study of two different forms of exclusion, about two emigrants with completely different backgrounds, one is intellectual  and the other is working class  who left his country to make money. They live together in the dark basement of a building in one European city. Mrožek uses his characteristic sharp humor to analyze the society and destiny of the people.He successfully guides us to see the deeper layers of the human soul and behavior. The success of Emigranten as a brilliant work is confirmed by it being performed repeatedly on stages all around the world.
The dilemmas that we are facing today  are different from 1974. The character of the political emigrant basically reformed to rather social criticism than ideological approach which surrounded him in that period of time with the existence of the cold war .
The adaptation targets social injustice as the most important reason to create drama and the pragmatic working class character illustrates the struggle for better living conditions.
Both emigrants in this adaptation  are female. The intellectual one is frustrated with not much hope but the working class character still has her dreams for future and better life in her homeland, which makes the present time not too important.
In the original drama, the neighbors from upstairs are higher society and in margin of the drama we feel or hear their existence.
In this adaptation, neighbors are present parallel with basement characters and they are an important part of the performance. In this sense what we see are two stories: 
1) Five scenes of the conflict between two emigrants in the basement.(Written by Mrožek)
Five scenes of a dinner party upstairs.The four characters  in a movie speak four different languages (Japanese, Spanish, French and German).This approach symbolically targets a global setting. (“East of Color” - written for this project)

Mehrdad Khameneh 
Film and Theatre Director