1951-1960Aleksander FordClassicsDramaPoland

Aleksander Ford – Mlodosc Chopina AKA Chopin’s Youth (1952)

A story of the formative years in Chopin’s life between 1825 and 1831, a time of social unrest throughout Europe, of rising nationalism, and of cries for reform. Chopin, an outstanding student in music, and inflamed with the revolutionary spirit in his native Poland, gives a number of concerts which are praised by the aristocracy. His fame growing, he sets out on tour and, while in Vienna, hears of the November uprising in Warsaw. He makes an attempt to return and join the fight but his carriage breaks down, and his is brought back ill. Warned by his doctor, he settles down to a quieter life in Paris, and continues his work.

From the blu-ray notes:

Aleksander Ford was thinking about producing a film about the youth of the composer before WWII, but it was made in 1951. The then management of Polish cinema had high hopes for this project because of the possibility to show an artist, sympathetic with social inequality, in search of inspiration in folklore, and open to revolutionary ideas. This monumental film covered five years of Chopin’s life, from his study in music school under the supervision of Prof. Elsner until his leaving Warsaw in the fall of 1830. Those years definitely affected his creativity. The shoot was done in well-chosen locations and places which Chopin used to visit. The composition of frames referred to Polish painting of the 19th century, that of Chełmoński’s, Kotsis’s, and Grottger’s.

It was the biggest production project of Polish cinema in the years immediately following WWII. The shoot took a year, with 1,500 extras and 2,000 costumes used to faithfully reproduce the Polish reality of the early eighteen hundreds. Czesław Wołłejko’s lead role earned him high acclaim. What’s striking is the uncanny relationship of the image and the sound track. The moviegoers watch the composer process situations and emotions they evoke into sounds; the most suggestive being the scene of Etude C minor, the so-called Revolutionary. Halina Czerny-Stefańska, an ex aequo winner of the 1st post-war Chopin Piano Competition, recorded Chopin’s pieces for the film. Wanda Wiłkomirska performed the Paganini’s and Slavik’s pieces. Stefania Wojtowicz sang the vocal part of Konstancja Gładkowska. All the pieces were recorded in a Vienna studio, using playback during the shoot. The film was awarded as a biopic at the Karlove vary Festival and received a “Gold Medal” at the Ferrara festival in Italy.

2.13GB | 2h 7m | 792×576 | mkv


Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish


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