In the Devil’s Snare

In the Devil’s Snare

In the Devil’s Snare

Documentary // ARTE 2006, 26 min., Digibeta

In Koniakow, a tiny, picturesque village in the mountains of eastern Poland, the art of crochet has been handed down from mother to daughter for centuries. Their intricate lace tablecloths and altar ornaments have been coveted by clergymen and royalty across Europe.

Under Socialism, business was booming but following the collapse of the Soviet empire, orders from state-run stores stopped pouring in, and families who had relied on lace making for their income are struggling to survive.

A few years ago, Malgorzata Stanaszek, desperate to earn money and save a centuries-old tradition, created a racy twist to the traditional crocheted products: G-Strings in intricate patterns. The skimpy underwear, initially a popular novelty item for tourists, is now available on the internet, and orders are pouring in from all over the world.

But for many in Koniakow, Malgorzata's success is not entirely welcome. These traditional lace makers take pride in the knowledge that their lacework has decorated altars in the Vatican and warmed the neck of the Queen of England. They are not pleased at the thought of their beautiful lacework adorning women's bottoms and are accusing Malgorzata and her fellow thong makers of defiling the industry. In response, some of Malgorzata's followers have stopped making the thongs or have gone underground.

Malgorzata Stanaszek, however, is standing her ground. Her thongs may be risque but they are profitable, and that is what counts, she says. She is determined to ensure that the lace G-strings of Koniakow are here to stay.

Writer and Director: Dorothe Dörholt
Camera: Martin Christ
Sound: Peter Trinks
Editing: Jens Gronheid
Production: Antje Christ

Photos © Christ Media

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