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Poland

Bohdan Kosinski – Lubelska Starówka AKA Lublin’s Old Town (1956)

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About this movie:
One of the most interesting films in the black series, describing reality in strongly, ironic and sarcastic manner. The aim is not only to intervene, but to expose the method of falsyfying reality. The camera looks into the corners of Renaissance Lublin’s Old Town, renovated for the 10th anniversary of the People’s Republic of Poland: piles of rubbish, dogs wandering around the dirty children treating such places as their playground. Read More »

Pawel Pawlikowski – Zimna wojna AKA Cold War (2018)

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A man and a woman meet in the ruins of post-war Poland. With vastly different backgrounds and temperaments, they are fatefully mismatched and yet condemned to each other. Read More »

Antoni Bednarczyk – Dla ciebie, Polsko aka For You, Poland (1920)

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Quote:
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. Read More »

Olga Chajdas – Nina (2018)

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After twenty years, Nina’s marriage to Wojtek is going nowhere, partly because of their failed attempts to have children. When they meet a young woman, Magda, they decide to propose that she become a surrogate mother for their child. But things get more complicated when Nina suddenly feels attracted to Magda.
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Andrzej Wajda – Czlowiek z marmuru aka Man of Marble (1977)

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Plot:
The first of Polish director Andrzej Wajda’s two “Solidarity” films, Man of Marble (originally Czlowiek Z Marmuru) concerns bricklayer Mateusz Birkut (Jerzy Radziwilowicz). Lauded as a national hero in the 1950s due to his skills at his trade, Birkut has inexplicably fallen into obscurity. In making a film of the bricklayer’s life, documentary director Krystyna Janda discovers that the bricklayer used his sudden fame to become involved in labor politics — whereupon the repressive government did its best to wipe out all traces of his accomplishments. This climactic revelation was, ironically, excised by the Polish censors when Man of Marble was first released. Director Wajda followed this film with Man of Iron, which traced the further political exploits of director Janda and her husband, the son of the unfortunate bricklayer — also played by Jerzy Radziwilowicz. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Read More »

Lech Majewski – Angelus (2000)

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From The Lumiere Reader:
THIS frankly marvelous film by Polish/American director Lech Majewski concerns a real-life cult of Polish working-class painters who were given three Fátima-like prophecies upon the death of their spiritual leader in the thirties – upcoming were a great war, a red plague and a death ray from Saturn that would destroy the earth. Their behaviour in response results in all sorts of shenanigans. Angelus hasn’t achieved much international coverage since its release in 2000, but it’s unclear why this hilarious, loving tribute to human folly and ambition was so ignored. A revelation that only a Film Society can dredge up, Angelus reveals Majewski’s painterly visual touch, and his wry sense of humour. Read More »

Janusz Majewski – Lokis aka The Bear (1970)

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Synopsis:
Lokis is a dark Gothic romance, a faithful (though expanded) adaptation of Prosper Merimee’s famous story, and the creme de la creme of the small horror niche dealing with the Eastern variant of the werewolf – the “werebear”.

Reverend Wittenbach, clergyman and bibliophile, travels into the eastern regions of Polish-Lithuanian forests – the “kresy” – in order to explore the vast library owned by a rich family of noblemen. Hosted in their luxurious mansion, the reverend learns the strange secrets of the surroundings and discovers the dark and disturbing secret of the family – there are whispers that his host, the enigmatic young count Michal Szemiot, may be something other than a man… that he was born of an unholy union of a woman and a bear… Read More »