2019 Festival Program
MASTERCLASS - 6min short
“Masterclass” is an animation directed by an all women team comprising the award winning director Grazyna Trela, Ewa Drzewicka, Dominika Fedko, Malgorzata Jachna, Malgorzata Jedrzejec, Weronika Kuc, Aleksandra Rylewicz.
The film is about the formation of a Master, inspired by the work of Roman Polanski.
ARIA DIVA - 25min short
Basia has already settled down in her life. She is a housewife and has a loving family . It seems as though she does not miss anything to be happy. Until a moment when an opera diva moves into an apartment upstairs. Basia is enchanted and seduced with her voice. A peculiar relationship is born between them. It develops into a feeling which is not particularly comfortable for both of them.
Directed: agnieszka Smoczynska Produced by: Wajda Studio
Stowarzyszenie Filmowcow Polskich – Studio Munka
Set between 1900 and 1945,
the film follows a Prussian family von Krauss,
and a forbidden love story between the Kashubian boy Mateusz
and the German aristocrat girl Marita.
We look at three women.
The 40-year-old prosecutor Dorota,
the young student Magda and
a distinguished surgeon, Teresa.
They have something in common, an alcohol addiction.
Nina, a teacher in her mid-30s struggling to have a child,
looks for a surrogate mother. It would seem that with her husband,
she has found an ideal candidate, yet Nina falls for the woman
who could have given birth to her child.
A few years ago, three Catholic priests’ fates were joined together
by a tragic event. Their lives were miraculously saved.
Now, on every anniversary the clergymen meet
to celebrate their survival.
Each took a different path.
Seven long-time friends get together for a dinner.
When they decide to share with each other
the content of every text message,
email and phone call they receive, many secrets start to unveil and
the equilibrium trembles.
NOTE: In Polish only
THE ART OF LOVING
“The Art of Loving” tells the story of Michalina Wislocka, a woman who achieved the impossible. Disposing of conservative stereotypes and pervasive ignorance, Wislocka revolutionized the sexual life of the whole country. And she did all that with a book
MASTERCLASS - 6min short
“Masterclass” is an animation directed by an all women team comprising the award winning director Grazyna Trela, Ewa Drzewicka, Dominika Fedko, Malgorzata Jachna, Malgorzata Jedrzejec, Weronika Kuc, Aleksandra Rylewicz.
The film is about the formation of a Master, inspired by the work of Roman Polanski.
THE POLISH MISSIONARIES
This film takes you on a journey into a work
that is rarely seen, and it may change
your view of religion.
It shows what faith-based aid workers from wealthy nations
can do to help poorer countries.
The Polish Film Festival started in Melbourne in 2012, and has enjoyed six successful editions so far. Each year, we presented a remarkable range of Polish films which touched our hearts, inspired and provoked. Before you embark on this year’s viewing adventure, spare a moment to remember and reminisce…
Cold War is a passionate love story between a man and a woman who meet in the ruins of post-war Poland. With vastly different backgrounds and temperaments, they are fatefully mismatched and yet condemned to each other. Set against the background of the Cold War in 1950s Poland, Berlin, Yugoslavia and Paris, it’s the tale of a couple separated by politics, character flaws and unfortunate twists of fate — an impossible love story in impossible times. Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski and starring Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot.
LOVING VINCENT is the world’s first fully oil painted feature film. Written & directed by Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman. The film brings the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to life to tell his remarkable story. Every one of the 65,000 frames of the film is an oil-painting hand-painted by 125 professional oil-painters who travelled from all across the world to the Loving Vincent studios in Poland and Greece to be a part of the production. As remarkable as Vincent’s brilliant paintings, is his passionate and ill-fated life, and mysterious death.
The story is set in Warsaw in 2030 and follows Adam, whose memory has been wiped-out by the secret service. He gets a job as a janitor and falls in love with a girl from a higher social class or “zone”. During his work he finds an old radio from the 50’s and discovers that it allows him to travel to the past.
One of the most astonishing debuts of recent years about anxieties overpowering the modern society. It comprises six stories about ordinary people put in extreme situations, which cause them to all experience a panic attack. A couple picks the worst seats on an airplane and struggles to get some rest; a crime story writer bumps into her ex in a restaurant; a teenager gets stoned for the first time; a heavily pregnant bride is obsessed with having the perfect wedding; a young adult film star comes very close to being exposed by her girlfriends who unexpectedly pay her a visit, while a young waiter obsessed with a computer game begs his mum to save the universe while he serves clients at a wedding party.
Jacek loves heavy metal, his girlfriend and his dog. His family, his small hometown and his fellow parishioners all see him as an amusing freak. Jacek works at the construction site for what is supposed to become the tallest statue of Jesus in the World. When a severe accident disfigures him completely, all eyes turn to him as he undergoes the first facial transplant in the country. ‘Mug’ (‘Twarz’) is a blackly comic, biting and emotional drama from award-winning director Małgorzata Szumowska (‘Body’, ‘Elles’, ‘In the Name of’) which won the Silver Bear Jury Grand Prix at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival and features stunning performances from Mateusz Kościukiewicz, Agnieszka Podsiadlik and Małgorzata Gorol.
The title protagonist is an orderly art teacher whose main problem in life is his father – an incessantly partying artist-painter. When the senior suffers a second heart attack and yet refuses to change his lifestyle, Juliusz will have to find a way to influence his behavior. The cure for the hero’s ills will seem to be accidentally met, careless veterinarian – Dorota. It will turn out, however, that real problems are just coming.
Alicja has no memory of her past, but has managed to build a new life and identity. When her family finds her, she doesn’t want her old life, until bits of memories begin to come back. Gradually, her new and old identities merge allowing for an unsettling self-discovery.
A gripping story of a three-month-long journey that renowned Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski took across Angola ravaged by a war in which the front lines shifted like a kaleidoscope from one day to the next.
‘Breaking the Limits’ is the award-winning biopic of Jerzy Gorski, an alcoholic and drug addict, who despite all odds turns his life around to become winner of the Ironman Triathlon and a Polish sports legend. Featuring a Polish all-star cast, the film depicts Gorski’s battle with addiction and arduous training sessions against the backdrop of 1970s and 80s communist Poland.
Based on the bizarre true story of the cult Polish painter Zdzisław Beksiński. He never believed that family life would always be sunshine and rainbows. As he tapes everything with his beloved camcorder, the 28-year Beksiński saga unfolds through paintings, near-death experiences, dance music trends and funerals
This thriller tells a true story, which takes place at the beginning of the 1970s, when Poland was in the throes of full-on Communism. The residents of Zaglębie, an industrial region in the south of the country, are shaken by a series of extremely brutal murders. The victims are women (14 in total) and always killed in the same way…
A great artist and co-creator of the theory of Unism, Strzemiński became famous before the Second World War. His students still treat him like the “messiah of modern painting”, but university authorities and the Ministry of Culture have a very different opinion
A prisoner was murdered in on of the largest detention centres, led by director Nowacki. Investigation has started. Sergeant Berg is called to interrogation, he is one of the participants in the convoy two years ago
Two groups of boys from different social classes and representing two different value systems confront each other as a result of a risky decision taken by adults. What was meant to be a lesson of responsibility and tolerance is transformed into a battle for leadership. On the one hand is the faith in noble ideals and on the other the brutal law of the jungle
Poland, 1990. The winds of change are blowing in Poland. The first euphoric year of freedom, but also of uncertainty for the future. Four apparently happy women of different ages decide it’s time to change their lives, fight for their happiness and fulfill their desires
1945. Communist secret police forces in Silesia build a labour camp for Germans, Silesians and Poles on the site of a former auxiliary camp of Auschwitz Birkenau. The secret police use punishing traitors as a pretext for purging the country of enemies of the system. Franek gets a job at the camp to save the woman he loves…
Aga is an attractive and smart young woman, whose relationship with Bruno, an intelligent yet mercenary lawyer and spin doctor working on the presidential campaign, is under strain. Bruno had promised to help Aga start her own restaurant, but then changed his mind, making her fully dependent on him. Now, although providing Aga with a very comfortable life, Bruno controls her every move
Poland’s Oscar Candidate
Retired civil engineer Duszejko lives a secluded life in a mountain village close to the border between Poland and the Czech Republic. She is charismatic and eccentric, a passionate astrologer and a strict vegetarian. One day her beloved dogs disappear. On a snowy winter’s night shortly afterwards she discovers the dead body of her neighbour and, next to it, deer tracks. More men die in a similarly mysterious way. All of them were pillars of the village community, and all were passionate hunters. Were these men killed by wild animals? Or has someone been provoked to pursue a bloody vendetta? At some point Duszejko herself comes under suspicion
It is 1942. The Nazis launch the decisive phase of destruction. From the ghettos, Jews are transported to the death camps. They are deported from rural areas loading stations. This is the case for one of the Sandomierz region villages, the setting of the film. Anastazja takes in an abandoned Jewish girl – Hania. It doesn’t go unnoticed with the local blackmailers, who demand ransom for their silence
Left alone with two young daughters after the accidental death of her beloved husband Pierre Curie, Marie Curie faces her duties with greatest courage as a mother and a scientist. But science is primarily a man’s world and Marie’s audacity is not well seen by everybody. As she embarks on a passionate affair with the mathematician Paul Langevin, she provokes a huge scandal and the tabloids drag her name through the mud. Alarmed by all the malevolent headlines, the Swedish Nobel Academy, who wants to award her a second Nobel Prize (making her the first person ever to receive two), forbids her to drive to Stockholm to fetch her award…
He wants to propose to her in the city of love. He does not expect that the coming night will become a living nightmare, and his meticulously planned journey will prove to be far from what he’d imagined or expected
This documentary tells the story of fishermen working on cutters at the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea. Fishing using nets is hard work performed in silence as it is the best way to bear the harsh conditions in the sea. Despite the unfavourable weather, slanting rain and often modest catch, young people follow in the footsteps of their ancestors in order to arrive at the port in the pale dawn with a few cod on the deck.
For a car insurance scam, you need to spot an easy target, take advantage of their mistake and set up a collision. Kamil is a master at this, but the problems start when he needs to stage an accident because his hard-up brother asks him to. Filip lives from one party to the next and he is not the right person for that. Kamil refuses, but the situation gets complicated…
In the small town of Aleksandrów Kujawski, the director of the cultural centre announces a competition for a creative presentation of personal patriotic attitudes. Entrants are free to demonstrate their creativity in whatever form they like: in song, recital or gesture, by giving a speech or staging their work. Anything goes. The eleventh day of the eleventh month arrives… Poland’s Independence Day. On this day, the jury, consisting of the director, the mayor, a priest and a local poet, will select the region’s number one patriot.
Evil deeds – Złe uczynki
Ten-year-old Max is the son of a hospital cleaner, which is thus where he spends most of his time getting up to no good. He dreams of becoming a gang member, or maybe even a serial killer, and thus struggles to keep his promise, made to his mother, that he would keep out of trouble. When an elderly patient catches Max stealing his wallet, he agrees to keep silent should the boy complete three tasks
The Holy Week – Wielki tydzień
It begins like an ordinary week for the young couple who have just returned from Great Britain to start their life anew. A dying relative, who is the brother of the main character’s grandfather, unexpectedly gives them keys to his flat. The gesture is much appreciated by the young students as they are awaiting their first child. The time they spend in the cramped bedsit with the dying man soon turns into a crash course in life, a condensed series of questions about our basic responsibilities when faced with the inevitability of death a
Poland, 1943. When love, friendship, and fate connect a simple Polish country boy, the daughter of a local farmer, a young German soldier, and a Jewish girl from Warsaw. Guido, Romek, Franka and Bunia, all come across something that both threatens and provides an escape from their harsh reality: love. The ill-fated and unlikely connection of these four, in the context of a horrific war, leads to a series of tragedies. Will they be able to hold on to their dreams while facing the horrors of their time and the uncertainty of their future?
“The Eccentrics. On The Sunny Side of The Street” is an incredible story of a jazzman Fabian who comes back to Poland from England at the end of the 1950’s. With a group of eccentric musicians he starts a swing big-band. Modesta becomes the star of the band and they become very successful. The musician quickly falls head over hills in love with the femme fatale singer. They soon start an affair. As king and queen of swing they start touring Poland and their life takes a colorful turn. Will their feelings last?
On a rusting cargo ship in the South China Sea, it’s the young Polish captain’s first command. His mutinous Chinese crew suspect him and his unscrupulous Boss of planning to scuttle the ship for an insurance scam. When the crew abandon ship, the young captain is left alone on board, helpless, anchored in a bay. That night while waiting anxiously on deck, he finds a naked body floating in the sea below, tangled up in the ship’s rope ladder. Pulling the ladder, the captain discovers a Chinese woman in distress. She climbs on board, saying only “Hide me”. Dawn comes a few hours later and so does a search party, looking for a murderer….. (In English & Mandarin.) Inspired by Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Sharer”
Polish comedy film directed by Kinga Dębska. Two completely different sisters, who don’t get on well with each other, need to come together and face the illness of their mother.
A 65-year old hitman on parole is offered a job he can’t refuse. In return for a clean record and a chance to leave the country with a new identity, he has to kill the head of the Central Bureau of Investigation. When he starts training for the job he realises his eye is not as sharp as it used to be. As the mission is put into jeopardy he takes on a former sniper dishonourably discharged from the army and assigns him the special task, promising a return to the army after the job is done. Deception and suspicion abound as events come to unexpected conclusions.
The Teutonic Knights is a Polish film from 1960 directed by Alexander Ford based on the novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz of the same name. The plot is located in Poland from the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century and focuses on the Polish-Lithuanian-Teutonic war and the final battle of Grunwald. 15,000 extras were used to create battle scenes. The film attracted crowds of cinema viewers and remains one of the most watched films in Polish history: it sold 2 million tickets in a few months, 14 million after four years, and since 1987 it had about 32,315,695 tickets. He was also exported to forty-six foreign countries and sold 29.6 million tickets in the Soviet Union and 2,650,700 in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. It was a Polish application for the 33rd Oscar. It was released on July 15, 1960, on the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald.
DAMAGED is a dynamic story of three generations of the Dulski family. The plot is set in three time periods – in 1914, 1954 and in the end of the 1990’s. The main protagonists are three women in the famous literary family – a grandmother, a mother and a granddaughter. Rainer Dulsky, a professor of psychiatry from Switzerland, visits Melania, the granddaughter of Mrs. Dulska. He feels he’s got something in common with the apartment house in which the Dulski family live Melania, a film director, intrigued by her family history joins Rainer in his research. Their discoveries will take them back to the past full of dramatic secrets that were meant to stay hidden forever. The Dulski family have much on their conscience.
Touching, light in tone and beautifully nuanced film is about the inextricable link between mind and body, the grief after losing a loved one and different ways of dealing with it. An official selection at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival Main Competition and winner of the Silver Bear award for Best Director, Małgorzata Szumowska
A thrilling story of a serial killer operating in Moscow called the Photographer. The ongoing investigation reveals that the murders he committed might be connected with the events that had taken place forty years ago in the Soviet garrison in Legnica, Poland. An experienced Russian policeman decides to go to Poland to find the killer and uncover his secret. The investigator is assisted by a young policewoman – the only person who managed to talk to the Photographer and survived the meeting. The investigation gradually discovers what happened in the past. Both plots intertwine and build a mysterious and gloomy atmosphere. This movie is also a report on current burning issues – it depicts a unique perspective on modern Russia.
An attempt at depicting the life of a generation born and raised in communist Poland; a generation that lived through all the stages of that system and made it to democracy. Throughout his life, the film’s protagonist has always tried to be active, but something always got in his way, either through an absurd coincidence, as a result of his own lack of ability, or due to the unpredictable nature of certain events in our recent history. Poland’s turbulent and often traumatic history remains a topic of great concern for contemporary filmmakers. This interest was evident again in a large number of the films screening at The Gdynia Film Festival 2014, of which Jerzy Stuhr’s picaresque comedy, The Citizen (Obywatel), must rank as one of the most interesting.
“Close-Ups” is a psychological drama that presents the power of family ties. The story written by Magdalena Piekorz and Wojciech Kuczok introduces the relationship of two women – mother and her adult daughter Marta. Marta is a sculptress. Having a beautiful apartment and a loving husband, Jacek, she still cannot find happiness. She is restrained by her mother from living her own independent life. But she is grateful for all the sacrifices in life her mother has done for her. Young woman keeps coming back to mother whenever she calls her. These two cannot live without each other and yet cannot be together. And Marta’s husband is fighting for his family happiness right between them.
Iza Deren, police officer from a provincial police station is investigating a crime. The unit has been attacked by someone and one of the officers has been wounded. At the same time, a body of a young woman is found drifting in a boat on the lake. The circumstances of her death are mysterious and both cases come to be assigned to Inspector Iza Deren. In the meantime, two officers from the local police station disappeared while on duty and have not been heard from over the last few days. One of them is the partner of Iza and the father of her unborn child… The deeper she investigates the case, the less support she is given by her superiors as well as by local people of influence. She realizes that to succeed with her investigations she has to do it on her own. Unexpectedly she receives a help from her vanished partner’s friend
Angelo and Kasia meet and fall deeply in love, but Kasia leaves and returns to Poland to enter a convent. Determined to win her back, Angelo moves to Warsaw and has to contend with a ruthless boss who uses her power to manipulate him.
Hardkor is a word of our times which entered everyday slang meaning something surprising, brutal and ruthless but also something attractive and danger-provoking, connected with adrenaline. Disko on the other hand holds something from the past, it’s a word rather connected to the generation of our parents, it brings to the mind some kind of nostalgia.
Roma is 15 years old. She lives with her father – Andrzej. The two main characters, in spite of a need of emotional closeness, live separate lives, next to each other; he – in the reality of science, the rules and emotional coldness; and she – in the world of dance, teenage rebellion and longing for parental interest. The girl’s life changes at the same moment, when a homeless man appears in the neighborhood and finds shelter in a crumbling building. The teenage girl shows symptoms of a disease worryingly similar to the one her Mom developed before she died. In Roma’s life, the difference between reality and the unreality blurs. The fates of the homeless man and Roma seem to be interdependent. When he is hurt, she suffers physically. The girl becomes convinced that the homeless man is her injured Guarding Angel trapped in a human body. After another collapse, Roma lapses into coma. Andrzej, under the influence of fear for his daughter’s life, wants to become a part of her world so much, that he denies everything he believed up till that moment. In the heat of the moment, he tries to build his relations with his daughter anew.
Belarusian Zhanna (a segment directed by Elżbieta Benkowska) settled down in Warsaw with her little daughter and her adaptation process resembles the collectively accepted formula of economic migrants, an event Ulrich Seidl depicts with gusto and relevant bravado when west meets east in Import/Export. Earning a living in perspective-less job as a cleaner she pursues a degree at local university to reach for better life. Her situation is more complicated since she not only carries the baggage of her nationality as much as that of her former life. The father of her child and what appears still a legal husband does not really shake hands with Belarusian potentates, their departing country.
Andrzej Wajda’s film Walesa. Man of Hope, portraying the inspiring journey of Poland’s most popular leader, was Poland’s official entry for the 2014 Oscars.
This biopic tribute to Lech Wałęsa, the Nobel Peace prize-winning politician and human rights activist, is an enjoyable look at an unconventional hero.
How could one man have such an impact on the modern world? Walesa. Man of Hope is an attempt at capturing the metamorphosis of a simple man – from an electric technician at the Gdansk shipyard who fought for labour rights to a charismatic leader who awoke the desire for freedom in millions of people and led to changes that exceeded their wildest dreams.
Life Feels Good is a film based on a true story. It is a story of Mateusz, a man suffering from cerebral palsy, who in his early childhood had been diagnosed as a disabled person with no contact with the outside world. After twenty five years it turned out that he was a perfectly normal and intelligent person. The film is a chronicle of his life. We get to know Mateusz now, when he is 30 and is institutionalized at a clinic for mentally disabled. He is about to be examined by the board which is to judge whether he is normal or not. During the retrospect we see his life from childhood in the early 80s to the present time and accompany him in sad, as well as in happy moments. We observe his attempts to prove that he is truly a normal person. We also get to know the love of his life – Anka. Naturally, he experiences the same, healthy emotions as others. We are with him when they send him to the clinic for mentally disabled. After many years, when he is already 26, due to a coincidence it turns out that the man who was considered a retard is perfectly normal, very intelligent and emotional. It is a story as touching as My Left Foot and as reflective as Le scaphandre et le papillon. However, this story is original and different from these famous movies. It has its own voice and spirit. It is a very optimistic film despite the sad life story of the main protagonist. It proves that willingness and spirit can overcome personal limitations. Do not give up, ever. Life is precious.
Sophie Seeks Seven was the box office surprise of the year in 2014. On its opening weekend, the film topped the box office, ahead of Hollywood films ‘American Hustle’ and ‘Wolf of Wall Street” with close to 200,000 viewers in its opening weekend.
Set in Warsaw, its the story of Zosia, 30 years old girl who after working on a film set gets hit by lighting and comes home to discover her boyfriend with another woman. Trying to find meaning in her life she sets on a course to meet with all six of her former boyfriends order to find out if she has forgotten about her true love of her life and to find that lucky nr 7. Sophie goes on a journey which leads her all over the city and even all the way to eating oranges in Tel Aviv with Israeli writer Etgar Keret. Over the film she discovers that she doesn’t need a lucky nr7 boyfriend to make her happy. Along the film she works out some pain full memories, becomes more mature in her friendships and relation with her father. She decides to go back to film making.
Tomek suffers from ‘savant syndrome’. Jacek works from home as a web administrator, who allows him time to take care of his ill brother. Whenever he has to leave the house for even a moment, he leaves his brother in the care of their unlikeable neighbour. When one day she is unable to stay with Tomek, Jacek turns to their new neighbour Magda for help. This is a story of Jacek, his brother Tomek, and Magda. Each character is alienated and lonely in his or her own way. Magda condemns herself to loneliness. Tomek has savant syndrome – a brain dysfunction that isolates him from society and Jacek limits his social contact to online interactions. The film focuses the attributes of loneliness, anonymity and alienation, ranging from personal choice to “superhuman” mental abilities that can result in extraordinary behaviour.
A story of an inmature 17 years old girl Natalia who becomes a mother. She wanted to have a child because she thinks it’s fun. All young stars like Britney Spears or Nicole Richie have kids. But what is the real reason of Natalia’s decision to be a mother in such a young age? Perhaps the answer could be found among the internet posts? Teenagers want to have a child because they want to be truly loved and to have someone to love
Ian, a spatial orientation instructor, arrives at a world-renowned Lisbon clinic for the visually impaired to work with blind patients. It will be his task to help them become more confident and allow them to explore their surroundings without feeling vulnerable or afraid. The doctor in charge of the clinic hires Ian on condition that the patients wont be exposed to danger as they learn to move around by themselves. During spatial orientation sessions, Ian quickly wins the trust of his patients: a small group of children and young adults of various nationalities. Theyve come to the clinic, often travelling long distances, in the hope that their blindness will be cured or their progressive loss of sight arrested. Ians techniques intrigue the children and embolden them to explore their surroundings. Ian, however, pushes them to attempt challenges with an element of risk, much to the dismay of the medical staff. His methods, though effective, are not without risk.
Life of Tom and Mary seems spotless. Happily married young couple with promising careers, awaiting their firstborn in their new apartment. When Mary calls a day off work, her superior, and city’s mayor shows up at her door with the basket of purple roses and everything is blown apart. Should partners reveal every truth even the potentially harmful one? Will love overcome the fear of being hurt and deceived? What grows out of the seed doubt on the ground of mature, healthy and loving relationship? Inspired by a true political and social affair, the film is a study of the relationship disintegration; it’s a story about trust and hope; about love that hurts.
Imagine that you have the power to decide on people’s lives. Who would you condemned, and whom he saved? In the center of Europe suddenly, without a trace, people begin to disappear. The investigation goes into the hands of Vulture (Michal Zebrowski) – a police officer who appears to be devoid of feelings. Tough, incorruptible, no obligations and favors to others. Until he meets Natasha – a woman other than those that he met so far. Vulture begins a dangerous game with the enemy ahead of him is still a step. Discovers a world in which people are leading a double life. For the first time, logical thinking will drive him into a trap with no way out. Suddenly, the hunter turned into animals. Balancing on the border between passion and reason, the world of logic and clever manipulation, you will have to answer the question: is there anything more important than life?
Based on a real story, Papusha tells the dramatic tale of the frst Gypsy poet. She was the frst to write down her poems and the frst to have her work translated into Polish and offcially published. This was all possible thanks to the efforts of two men: Jerzy Ficowski, poet and researcher into the lives of the Polish Roma community, and poet Julian Tuwim.
Radom under Nazi occupation at the end of World War II. After the tragic death of her mother a young girl, Janina, lives alone with her father a photographer. He decides to give shelter to a young Jewish girl, Esther, the daughter of his friend who has been hiding in a small room under the floor. Initially Janina rebels against this situation, but soon begins to take an interest in the involuntary tenant. Gradually, curiosity turns into fascination. One day Janina’s father is arrested in street roundup and now Janina has to look after Esther alone. The young women start to live in almost complete isolation from the outside world: loneliness and fear bring them closer and closer. Mutual dramatic experiences make their relationship more intimate. When the war ends Janina hides the news from Ester and continues to keep her in hiding as her erotic fascination with Esther turns into an obsession.
Siberian Exile – Syberiada Polska
Siberian Exile is an epic tale of Poles, Ukrainians, Jews who are deported to Russia. The fate of displaced is shown from the perspective of a young boy Staszek (Paweł Krucz), who goes to Siberia with his family and neighbours from a small village in the eastern Polish borderlands. Together with his companions, he starts the hard struggle for survival, where his most fearsome opponents turn out to be terrible, merciless nature, sulphurous cold and deadly famine. Circumstances force the boy to re-evaluate his life and grow up faster. He will soon have to learn the essential struggle for survival and make decisions that will where rate will be life of his relatives. He will also have to choose between his love for the Jewish Zinnia (Agnieszka Więdłocha) and the Russian Luybka (Valeria Guliaeva).
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