Poland

Michal Hytros – Siostry AKA The Sisters (2018)

Autotranslated:
Behind the 800-year-old wall, the lives of 12 Benedictine sisters take place in Staniatki near Krakow. It is the oldest cloister convent in Poland. Its inhabitants are cheerful, elderly people who function according to the “ora et labora” rule invented over 10 centuries ago. The protagonists of the documentary – Sisters Anunciate and Benedict, who have been in the monastery for over 40 years, introduce us to life behind the wall, tell us about the experience of being a nun, as well as about passing and longing for youth. Without avoiding jokes, they show us a monastic world far from the stereotype – often touching and funny. Read More »

Pawel Lozinski – Nawet nie wiesz, jak bardzo cie kocham (2016)

Relationships with the people you love most are often the most complicated. This is the problem Hania and her mother Ewa face during their sessions with a psychotherapist, filmed intimately and with the utmost respect by director Pawel Lozinski. The camera always focuses on one person at a time, revealing every emotion hidden behind the words and silences. The empathetic therapist carefully but purposefully peels away the hard layers under which mother and daughter shield themselves. Little by little, the personal tragedies that hamper their communication rise to the surface, as well as the source of the longing for love and acknowledgement that they find so hard to fulfill. The documentary takes place within four walls and a tight framework, yet at the same time it makes a long and fascinating journey to the inner recesses of the human mind: sometimes dark, sometimes warm, always familiar. Read More »

Juliusz Machulski – Vabank II, czyli riposta AKA Point of No Return (1985)

In this sequel to the hit comedy Vabank, Poland’s most popular screen actor (Jan Machulski) returns as legendary bandit Kwinto. When the suave thief’s long-time enemy Kramer escapes from prison to get even, Kwinto calls upon his old gang to meet the threat. Set in the 1930s, the sequel features Kwinto and the gang matching wits against everyone from crooked bank managers to Nazi border guards. Read More »

Juliusz Machulski – Vabank (1981)

Set in Warsaw in 1930’s. After six years in jail, framed for bank robbery by an accomplice, the legendary Kwinto has only revenge on his mind. He is a safecracker in the old style, a thief with a sense of pride and loyalty. Upon leaving the jail he learns that his friend with whom he played in the jazz band has been murdered by the same guy – now a bank president – who sent him to prison. Kramer hopes to keep Kwinto’s mouth shut by paying him off, but at the same time he hires a paid gun to kill him. Meanwhile, some young, petty crooks hearing that Kwinto is free want to join forces with him for a job. Kwinto, employing a retired professional and two young admirers, pulls his last job to get even with Kramer… Read More »

Marcin Wrona – Czlowiek magnes AKA Magnet Man (2001)

Quote:
The film is inspired by the director’s unusual family history, which evokes childhood memories marked by specific relationships with parents.

Quote:
A true story about the filmmaker’s father, a mesmerist, exorcist, and healer who can help everyone but himself. Told from the point of view of his young son (the filmmaker as a boy), who both adores and abhors his father. Marcin Wrona uses a visually energetic collage technique to create what he calls “tragicomic kitsch,” one with a fantastical sense of Monty Python about it, like a missing Terry Gilliam project. Read More »

Agnieszka Holland – Europa Europa (1990)

Quote:
As World War II splits Europe, sixteen-year-old German Jew Salomon (Marco Hofschneider) is separated from his family after fleeing with them to Poland, and finds himself reluctantly assuming various ideological identities in order to hide the deadly secret of his Jewishness. He is bounced from a Soviet orphanage, where he plays a dutiful Stalinist, to the Russian front, where he hides in plain sight as an interpreter for the German army, and back to his home country, where he takes on his most dangerous role: a member of the Hitler Youth. Based on the real-life experiences of Salomon Perel, Agnieszka Holland’s wartime tour de force Europa Europa is a breathless survival story told with the verve of a comic adventure, an ironic refutation of the Nazi idea of racial purity, and a complex portrait of a young man caught up in shifting historical calamities and struggling to stay alive. Read More »

Marek Piestrak – Klatwa Doliny Wezy AKA Curse of Snakes Valley (1987)

An ex marine (Traven), a Polish professor (Tarnas) and a French journalist (Christine) are on the hunt for a treasure in this great Polish b-movie flick. Actually most of the contemporary Polish movies suck. But this one sucks so bad, that it’s enjoyable. You’ve got all the possible cliches here, plus cheesy stop-motion special effects, plus cheesy dialogues, plus nice landscapes, plus nice cast with some big names (Roman Wilhelmi, Leon Niemczyk and recently deceased Ewa Salacka). Polish-Soviet production, shot in Viet Nam/Paris. If you wet your pants watching the Nazis in the first Indiana Jones, who melted after opening the Ark, grab this one. Read More »