Warsaw, Poland – A short Polish animated movie focusing on the little-known story of Dzennet Dzabagi-Skibniewska has won the top prize at the 8th edition of the “Museums in Short” international film competition.
“Dzennet is an animated short able to express a powerful story in a delicate way,” the organisers of the competition wrote on their Facebook page when announcing the results last month.
“The video tells the biography of Dzennet Dzabagi-Skibniewska, a Caucasian princess who settled in Gdynia in the 1930s. From that moment on, personal story and global history run intertwined.”
“The jury recognized in this video a paradigmatic story of 20th-century Europe, but also a perfect example of the role played by museums as contemporary storytellers.”
Born in 1915 in Saint Petersburg from a Polish Tatar mother and a father from Ingushetia, a small and predominantly Muslim republic of Russia located in the North Caucasus mountains just north of Georgia, Dzennet Dzabagi-Skibniewska moved to France at a young age before the whole family settled in Warsaw in the 1920s.
The following decade, she moved to Gdynia, northern Poland, with her husband Jan Skibniewski, and became an active member of the Polish resistance following the invasion of Nazi Germany and the outbreak of World War II.
Forced to flee, she travelled via Hungary to the Middle-East, where she left her young son with a group of Polish nuns, before joining back the fight as a frontline nurse and war journalist in Europe, particularly Italy.
She returned to Poland in 1947 and, relegated to low-skilled activities by the communist regime, worked for years in a glove factory. She died in 1992 and is buried in Grozny, the modern-day capital of Chechnya.
You can watch Dzennet on the website of the Museums in Short competition right here.