Polish Cinema

Double Vision: My Life in Film by Andrzej Wajda

Double Vision: My Life in Film by Andrzej Wajda provides an informal, accessible, and concise glance into the creative process of one of Poland’s most renowned filmmakers. Through a series of humorous, honest, and insightful anecdotes, Wajda presents an animated reflection of his pioneering, and largely self-taught, experience as a fledgling director during the nascent… read more »

State of Weightlessness, 1994

Filmed after the dismantling of the Soviet Union at a time when the U.S. space station project (then called Freedom) that had been championed by Ronald Reagan was similarly facing its own crisis of survival after a series of deep budget cuts (partly in response to shifting political considerations and administrations), Maciej Drygas’s The State… read more »

Hear My Cry, 1991

Filmed during the breakup of the Soviet Union, Hear My Cry captures the essence of Maciej Drygas’s articulate and insightful film essays on the rupture between official record and human history, the impossibility of absolute truth, and the malleable nature of collective memory. The theme of revisionist history is prefigured in the film’s opening shot,… read more »

Debt, 1999

A pair of decapitated, naked male corpses are recovered from the bottom of a frigid, isolated lake as a team of police officers processes the crime scene in the hopes of recovering their heads in order to aid in the identification of the victims. Observing the idiosyncratically violent and methodical nature of the crime, the… read more »

Pornography, 2003

Unfolding with the deceptively lyrical and darkly comic surrealism of a diluted Emir Kusturica, Pornography, a film based on a novel by Witold Gombrowicz, is the powerful and haunting tale of an acutely sensitive and enigmatic, middle-aged artist named Frederic (Krzysztof Majchrzak) who, as the film begins, has returned to a luxury hotel in German-occupied… read more »

A Short Film About Love, 1988

An obscured thief breaks into a school gymnasium at night to steal a portable telescope from the science lab. On the following morning, the thief, Tomek (Olaf Lubaszenko) sets up the telescope on his desk, facing the window of his room, and across the courtyard into an adjacent apartment. Later in the day, an attractive,… read more »

Dekalog/Decalogue, 1988

The Ten Commandments, exact and uncompromising, literally cast in stone, continues to provide a source of moral conflict in contemporary society. In the ten part epic masterpiece, Decalogue, Krzysztof Kieslowski examines the dilemma of fundamental sin in the lives of ordinary Warsaw citizens. A scientist (Henryk Baranowski) puts his faith in science and logic to… read more »

Blind Chance, 1987

Blind Chance opens to a dissociated close-up shot of an anxiously screaming seated passenger named Witek (Boguslaw Linda): a jarring and ominous episode that is further reflected in a subsequent chaotic scene as bloodied casualties from an undetermined catastrophe are transported – often, haphazardly but swiftly – through the cold, antiseptic halls of a hospital… read more »

I Am, 2005

Dorota Kedzierzawska continues to demonstrate her strength in directing young actors (particularly evident in the performance of the lead actor, Piotr Jagielski) that she had earlier illustrated in The Crows with her latest film I Am. Recalling Ken Loach’s Kes or Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Nobody Knows in its modern day, pseudo-Dickensian tale of instinctual survival shot… read more »