Polish Cinema For Beginners Season 8

The popular Polish Cinema for Beginners project roars back into action next month, with the first in another series of classic Polish movies to be screened at Kino Nowe Horyzonty on the 2nd of March.

The project features screenings of top Polish films with English subtitles, each of which is accompanied by a special guest presenting the theme and socio-historical context of each movie (all in English of course).

In previous seasons films such as "Mother Joan Of The Angels" by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, "Man Of Marble" by Andrzej Wajda, "The Reverse" by Borys Lankosz and Agnieszka Holland’s "In Darkness" have all featured.

The upcoming season is dedicated to films that look closely at the landscapes, history and uniqueness of Poland's great cities.

For the opening screening the organisers have chosen “The Promised Land” by the late great Andrzej Wajda. Hailed as the best Polish film in history, it shows the industrial traditions of the city of Łodz.

Next up is a journey to modern day Warsaw, captured by Jerzy Skolimowski in his intriguing drama “11 minutes”. Other cities featured are Lublin (in the shape of “Carte Blanche”, a moving film by Jacek Lusiński), Poznan (showcased in the film “Influenz”, one of the most talked about (and most expensive) films of the last decade). Of course Wroclaw is featured too; a screening of "Noose", the Polish film school classic by Wojciech Jerzy, makes sure of that.

Tickets, which cost 16zl each, can be purchased before the screenings in the cinema box office or on the kinonh.pl website. All screenings take place on Thursdays at 7pm. 

For more information, please go to polishcinema.com.pl and facebook.com/polishcinema.

The full programme, as described by Polish Cinema for Beginners, can be read below:

02.03: The Promised Land – dir. Andrzej Wajda, 1975

A screen adaptation of a Nobel prize winning novel by Władysław Reymont that focuses on the topic of “money making”. In Łodź, in the end of 19th century a Pole, a German and a Jew open together a factory, using their different backgrounds as an advantage against their competition. Will their friendship survive this success? The great acting of Daniel Olbrychski, Wojciech Pszoniak and Andrzej Seweryn, the unforgettable music by Wojciech Kilar and dynamic shots by Witold Sobociński and Edward Kłosiński, contribute to the legend of “The Promised Land”. Nominated for an Oscar, this work by Andrzej Wajda is to this day one of the greatest accomplishments of Polish cinema – hailed a masterpiece by Martin Scorsese, last year it was chosen the best Polish film in history in the Łodź Museum of Cinematography vote.

16.03: 11 minutes – Jerzy Skolimowski, 2015

Polish – Irish co-production capturing one day in modern Warsaw. Stories of regular residents of the capital city will unexpectedly result in a sudden apocalypse, sometimes compared to the World Trade Centre attacks. One of the highlights of Venice Film Festival two years ago, that reestablished Jerzy Skolimowski (“Start”, “The Shout”, “Essential Killing”) as one of the most original Polish film directors. During Gdynia Film Festival the film was awarded for editing by Agnieszka Gliwińska and music by Paweł Mykietyna.

30.03: Carte Blanche – Jacek Lusiński, 2015

Kacper Bielik (Andrzej Chyra) is a history teacher in a high school in Lublin. He loves his job, gets on great with his students, only sometimes feels a little lonely. New year brings him a new opportunities: he becomes a class teacher, befriends Klara (Eliza Rycembel) a difficult student, starts a relationship with Ewa (Urszula Grabowska), also a teacher. Unexpectedly he starts losing his sight. Will he be able to hide this and live his life to the fullest? A film by Jacek Lusiński, based on a true story of a blind teacher, was awarded a Grand Prix at Shanghai International Film Festival. Andrzej Chyra’s role deserves a particular recognition and so does the humanistic message that this film carries, which makes us believe the world could be a better place.

13.04: Noose – dir. Wojciech Jerzy Has, 1957

Kuba (Gustaw Holoubek) is an alcoholic, trying to turn his life around. Krystyna (Aleksandra Śląska) is helping him fight his addiction and is meant to take him to a rehab. The only thing that Kuba needs to do is wait for Krystyna to come back from work. It’s not easy from him to sit in the apartment on his own, where the phone is constantly ringing and he has a splitting headache. So he goes out… Based on a story by Marek Hłaska, filmed in Ołbin in Wrocław, the film captures the ghostly city after the war with Maczysław Jahoda’s shots compared in style to the german expressionism. A classic of Polish Film School, one of the most important films of the 50’s that gives you a glimpse into the work of one of the best Polish directors – Wojciech Jerzy Has.

27.04: Influenz – dir. Łukasz Barczyk, 2014

Greater Poland Uprising – the only successful uprising in the history of Poland that resulted in the restoration of the Polish State after 123 years. The uprising begun with the visit of Ignacy Paderewski, a great pianist, to the Bazar Hotel. Dr Abuse, a clairvoyant (played by american actor Crispin Glover also known from “Back to the future” “Charlie's Angels” and “Wild at heart”) tries to stop him by making Paderewski believe he has symptoms of the Spanish flu, which between 1918 and 1919 killed more people than died in WWI. This is going to be a fight of both cannons and spirits. Łukasz Barczyk captures a legend of the uprising not only through historical reconstruction of events but also by looking into the world of phantasy, spirituality, and the general atmosphere of that period. Made for a tremendous amount of 25 Million PLN, the film dazzles with costumes, set design and special effects. One of the most original and stylish Polish film in the last few years.

About Gregor Gowans

Gregor Gowans
The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.