Four Polish films premiere at London Film Festival

Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski, Walesa. Man of Hope by Andrzej Wajda, Floating Skyscrapers by Tomasz Wasilewski and Papusza by Krzysztof Krauze screens in London





9 - 20 October 2013

Various venues

Wednesday, October 16  at 9pm at Renoir Cinema              
Sunday, October 20  at 1pm at ICA   

Floating Skyscrapers

Dir-Scr Tomasz Wasilewski. With Mateusz Banasiuk, Marta Nieradkiewicz, Bartosz Gelner, Katarzyna Herman. 93min.

Kuba (Mateusz Banasiuk), a champion swimmer, lives with his mother and girlfriend Sylwia and spends much of his time training in preparation for competitions. One evening, he and Sylwia attend a gallery opening where he meets Michał, a handsome youth of the same age, and a new relationship develops. The film follows the course of Kuba’s evolving sexuality and the effect it has on Sylwia and his family, as well as examining the response of an unsympathetic environment. Tomasz Wasilewski’s second feature film, beautifully shot by Jakub Kijowski, is sensitively acted and sexually provocative, fulfilling the promise of his debut feature In the Bedroom. Wasilewski’s flair for widescreen composition and use of sound heralds a fresh and original talent. A courageous movie – Wasilewski describes it as ‘the first Polish LGBT film’ – Floating Skyscrapers won first prize in the East of the West competition at Karlovy Vary.

Sunday, October 13   at 2.45pm   Odeon West End
Monday, October 14  at 6.30pm   Cine Lumiere    
Tuesday, October 15   at 3pm  Odeon West End 


Dir. Pawel Pawlikowski with Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik, 80 mins

Filmed in incandescent black-and-white, with each frame exquisitely composed, UK-based director Pawel Pawlikowski’s (My Summer of Love, Last Resort) new film is an elegy for his homeland and an intimate, poetic exploration of the limits of faith. Orphaned during WWII, Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska) was brought up in a rural convent and in early 60s Poland is a young novice preparing to take her vows. When the Mother Superior insists she make contact with her last remaining relative, she meets her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a free-living intellectual working as a judge and secretly annihilating painful memories with a heady mix of sex and booze. Their encounter lifts the shroud off the dark secret of their family’s past and both women must confront the devastating truth. Pawlikowski’s cinematic style here recalls the great Robert Bresson who wrote of actors: ‘the thing that matters is not what they show me but what they hide from me and, above all, what they do not suspect is in them’. Both actresses are superb and reveal much with what they do not show, but this pure and haunting concept is also true of the film’s cogent and profoundly moving narrative.

Thursday, October 10  at 8.45pm    Rich Mix              
Saturday, October 12   at 12.30pm    VUE7  


Dirs. Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze with Jowita Budnik, Antoni Pawlicki, Zbigniew Waleryś, Artur Steranko, 131 mins

Roma poet Bronisława Wajs (1908-87), known as Papusza, has become something of a legend in Poland. In their latest film, Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze (My Nikifor, Saviour Square) explore her history in a film shot mainly in the Roma language. The narrative moves through several time planes and, while recounting various aspects of her life story, also recreates the patterns of Roma life in the pre-war period. World War II saw the killing of some 35,000 Polish Roma, while the post-war Communist regime forced the remainder to abandon their traditional lifestyle. The film focuses principally on the discovery of Papusza by the ethnographer, Jerzy Fikowski, the first Polish writer to chart Roma history and customs. The black and white photography is sharp and poetic – and occasionally romantic. Papusza, which was five years in the making, is an inspired and innovative evocation of a reality now past.

Friday, October 11  at 5.45pm    Odeon West End             
Saturday, October 12  at 8.45pm    Curzon Mayfair

Wałęsa. Man of Hope

Dir. Andrzej Wajda with Robert Więckiewicz, Agnieszka Grochowska, 127 mins

The final part of Andrzej Wajda’s informal trilogy that began with Man of Marble (1976) and continued with Man of Iron (1981), his new film tells the story of Lech Wałęsa, the electrician who became leader of the Solidarity union, going on to win the Nobel Prize and become President of Poland. The film charts his life from the suppression of the 1970 workers’ protests through to the round table agreement with the government in 1980, the imposition of Martial Law in 1981, to the fall of Communism in 1989. As played by Robert Więckiewicz, Wałęsa comes across as a charismatic but frequently contradictory figure – ‘a man of the people’ who derives his strength from ‘inner anger’, distrustful of intellectuals, but never less than forthright in his dealings with authority. The film’s strength lies in its portrayal of the mundane and the political, the story of an ordinary working man whose actions triggered a revolution.

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