Polish Cinema For Beginners: Expand Your Cultural Horizons

Last month Andrzej Jakimowski’s passionate drama 'Imagine' was the subject of the penultimate meeting of the 9th Polish Cinema for Beginners programme.

As ever, the audience was a diverse mix of Polish and foreign audiences. However on this occassion the screening was accompanied with Polish subtitles, as the film's dialogue is in English.

Just before the lights dimmed, the film and its score composer, Tomasz Gąssowski, were introduced to the audience by the program coordinator. From that moment on, the minds of those who gathered were transported to Lisbon, where the film was shot. 

Directed by Andrej Jakimowski, 'Imagine' stars British actor Edward Hogg. The movie, whose focus is on the world of the visually impaired, gives its audience the means to see the world through a different perspective.

The film is set in an institute for the blind that teaches children to live with their disability. However difficult, the children learn that they must never think the same way as someone with a sense of sight. However when Ian, a visually impaired non-conformist teacher is hired by the school, the safety of their world is shaken.

Following the film, an enlightening and interactive discussion began with the film's Music composer, Tomasz Gąssowski. Gassowski, a long time film collaborator of director Andrej Jakimowski, does not speak in English. Nevertheless, the translation of his replies were simple, explanatory and precise.

During the discussion the audience learned how Gassowski composed the music for the film only after reading the script. Neither was he on set in Lisbon while writing this particular composition as he wanted to be “in a really happy place and be isolated from the world”. It was this state of mind that helped him immerse himself in the characters, thereby aiding his quest for a composition based on sounds that would be “important” to the blind.  

So what is the vibe like at Polish Cinema for Beginners? Despite being sceptical at first, I found it be a great experience and the excitement I felt while learning about Polish culture was off the charts. Having attended the latest screening I'd happily speak positively about Polish cinema, while I wouldn’t feel lost whenever someone brings up Andrzej Jakimowski and Tomasz Gąssowski either.

Polish Cinema for Beginners would certainly benefit those seeking to learn about Polish culture by watching a movie in the country's language. If you fall into this bracket, you should definitely give it a shot. 

The next screening takes place at 8pm on the 7th of December at Kino Nowe Horyzonty. If you want to know more, you can always check out the program's official website or Facebook page.

Lizzie Isibor

A journalism masters student at the University of Wroclaw. A former journalist from Abuja, Nigeria. Self described globe trotter. She enjoys going on adventures even though she has to be dragged out the door for it. She's in love with Korean drama/K-Pop and spends her days counting down to the next Coachella.

Related Articles