ANDRZEJ ZULAWSKI’S adaptation of Manuela Gretkowska’s provocative and hugely successful novel reaches new extremes in the depiction of brutality, sex, and passion as it tells the story of a young(ish) anthropologist driven by the mystery surrounding the death of a recently discovered shaman; and his growing obsession with an enigmatic yet violently perverse beauty known as “The Italian”.SZAMANKA (She-Shaman) is a film ‘without brakes’. Above all else, it is a ‘demonic’ film where characters are battlegrounds in the war between demons and angels, where angels are agents of God and demons are those of the Devil. This pulpy, sexually charged tale with its deranged erotic futurism underlines Zulawski’s commitment to stretch the limits of aesthetic expression by exploring themes beyond the pale in conventional cinema. Violence, exuberance and sexuality are its key ingredients. Through hysteria, possession and hallucination we see what the Polish writer Stanislaw Przybyszewski called ‘naked soul’. Continue reading
In 1943 Poland was under nazi occupation, but the tragedy of the war seemed far-away from Poworna Estate. Other tragedies instigated by the narrator Witold and mysterious Frederick disrupted the lives of the characters reunited in the isolated estate: the “dangerous relationship” between Henia and Karol, orchestrated by Fredrick; the senseless murder of Amelia, Waclaw’s mother, Henia’s fiance; the sad event involving the partisan commander Siemain, that had to be eliminated because he lost control of his nerves. But punishment soon followed. Continue reading
*The official submission of Poland to the Best Foreign Language Film of the 85th Academy Awards 2013.
A new film by Waldemar Krzystek. Poland, Lower Silesia, the beginning of a very cold winter 1981. After the series of entrapments by the Security Service a confrontation between the opposition and the communists seems to be inevitable. Just before the proclamation of martial law a group of young Solidarity activists decide to play va banque and organize a rash action to take out 80 million of the Union money from one of the Wroclaw’s banks before the account would be blocked. Security Service officers follow their steps. It’s the beginning of a gripping tournament in which also priests and curb dealers will play their parts. Each side has aces up their sleeve. Continue reading
Two handed chamber piece about a middle aged woman who returns from the camps after WWII and meets the mother of her deceased husband. Unable to explain the truth about her husband’s death, Joanna weaves a web of lies to comfort the old woman. In time she is forced to involve more and more people who know of his fate. Continue reading
The film’s plot is set during the war between Poland and the Soviet Russia (1919 – 1921). Wartime brutally encroaches on the life of a couple in love – Franek and Hanka. The Bolshevik troops cause damage to Polish villages and manor houses, and in one of the manor houses the invaders have a carousel. Luckily, the Polish cavalry comes to the relief just in time. Unable to wait passively, Hanka becomes a sister of mercy in one of the field hospitals near Vilnius, while Franek gains wide recognition after capturing a Russian spy. The significant documents found on the spy contributed to the capture of Vilnius. The bloody battles end with the Polish troops entering the town, and Hanka and Franek finally find each other again, although in quite surprising circumstances. The film ends with the documentary recording of the ceremony of incorporating Vilnius into the Polish borders, with the participation of Marshal Piłsudski, the highest commanders of the Polish army and some foreign guests. Continue reading
After a five-year hiatus from filmmaking, Piotr Szulkin returned in 1990 with “Femina”, based on a novel by Krystyna Kofta and inspired by Luis Bunuel.
The main character is Bogna, a thirty year old woman lost in her surrounding reality and unhappy in her private life. After her husband departs for a foreign scholarship, Bogna learns that her mother died. The trip to her hometown for the funeral becomes a voyage in time, during which she relives the memories of her idyllic childhood. Continue reading
The film script is based on the famous story by Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz. The action is set during the 18th century at a remote convent in the Smolenszczyzna region. The nuns together with their prioress Joanna, are possessed by demons and a young priest Suryn comes to exorcise the convent. However his measures of prayer and mortification do no have any effect and moreover, the priest begins to experience the weird atmosphere of anxiety which pervades the convent. He is torn by spiritual dilemmas and feels lost. He does not realize that his problems stem from a purely secular love towards prioress Joanna and when she pushes him to take a dramatic step, the priest decides to purge the woman, even at the price of mortal sin. Continue reading