Invited Country: Poland
Dzień dobry wszyscy! / Hello everyone!
The Polish language has a reputation for being impossibly complicated and difficult to pronounce. Influenced by Latin, Italian, French, Russian, and English, it has kept a richness throughout its fascinating and eventful history.
Like its language, Poland’s cinema, from its origins until now, has been both turbulent and endearing. The different periods of its history adhere to a singular political and social context.
Are the violent events of a country that is in constant reconstruction precisely what give its cinema such a special tone and so subtle a way of telling stories?
Is it the teaching given at Poland’s film schools, which are among the world’s most prestigious (like Łódź, Warsaw, Krakow, Katowice or Gdynia) that prepares filmmakers with an aesthetic and narrative sensibility that are so “typically” Polish?
The young Polish short filmmakers featured in this focus have a particularly humane vision of the world.
This is the case for the animation film Lato 2014, a dark poem about the havoc caused by delusions of grandeur and the pride of men.
The narrative film Święto Zmarłych depicts the celebration of a feast for the dead, through the journey of a young girl in search of her roots and family identity.
The documentary Smolarze shows a couple of coal merchants living in the mountains in the southern part of the country. A pared-down aesthetic and a caring modesty mark this naturalist documentary.
Freedom, humanity, realism, tonally sound, with an aesthetic sense and a photographic beauty: these are the keywords of this new generation of filmmakers.
The words of Kawalerowicz in 1961, upon winning the Jury Prize in Cannes for Matka Joanna od Aniołów (Mother Joan of the Angels) perfectly illustrate this: “Above all, I wanted to present a human work (…) fight back against lies, conformity and any and all dogma.”