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 Antoni Bednarczyk – Dla ciebie, Polsko aka For You, Poland (1920)
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.
Continue reading Olga Chajdas – Nina (2018)
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 Continue reading Andrzej Wajda – Czlowiek z marmuru aka Man of Marble (1977)
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… Continue reading Janusz Majewski – Lokis aka The Bear (1970)
Set in 1936 in Poland. Zygfryd, a handsome, orphaned young circus acrobat with an introspective temperament, is under the protection of circus owner, Waldo, and his wife. A rich intellectual recluse, patron of the arts (and of young artists) stumbles into Zygfryd’s heart- stopping act and offers him his friendship. He also opens up his cultural horizons and teaches him to consciously reflect on life. It all ends in tragedy, when the boy finds that the circus life is no longer enough and falls during his act. Written by Polish Cinema Database Continue reading Andrzej Domalik – Zygfryd (1986)
The main character, nicknamed Miś / Teddy Bear, is the manager of a sports club. One day he is detained at the border, just as his team is about to leave for a tournament – somebody has torn out a few pages from his passport, thus making it invalid. It occurs to him that perhaps his ex-wife has done so to keep him in the country long enough for her to get her hands on their joint bank account in a London bank. Therefore, he has to get to London as soon as possible in order to transfer the money to a different bank.
The only problem is: how to get there without a passport. The somewhat convoluted plan involves his moviemaking friend, his girlfriend, a doppelganger and a non-funtional hair-growth product. Continue reading Stanislaw Bareja – Mis AKA Teddy Bear (1981)
This undeservedly obscure film directed by Agnieszka Holland was her second feature, coming between the better-known Aktorzy Prowincyonalni (Provincial Actors) that launched her career and Kobieta Samotna (A Woman Alone). All three were made in her homeland before the Communist government’s crackdown on Solidarity that led to her going into exile in France. Continue reading Agnieszka Holland – Goraczka AKA Fever (1981)