It has been twenty years since Polish cinema started to speak on its own, not paying attention to political censorship and breaking the production monopoly of the communist country. For twenty years the Polish movie makers have enjoyed the same freedoms and possibilities as their French or German colleagues. During this time there have been produced about half a thousand feature films and several thousand documentaries – many of them being at the top artistic level. Paradoxically, these artistic works are much less known in the world than the Polish films made behind the “iron curtain”, when the cultural exchange with the western world was limited to a narrow stream and totally controlled by the communist authorities. Nowadays, when the communication barriers do not exist anymore, and Poland is in the international circulation of film production and distribution, the latest Polish cinema still remains an unknown land waiting to be discovered, first of all by the European audience, but not only by them.
The publication of 'Polish Cinema Now!' aims to facilitate the discovery of this unknown land. Eleven essays written with passion in accessible language by leading experts from Poland and abroad describe the Polish cinema from various perspectives, from movie entertainment, animation and documentary, to gay and feminist movies. This book is meant for cinema-lovers, for whom the old Polish cinema of Wajda, Has, Munk, Skolimowski, Polański or Kieślowski means something important, and who would like to learn who are their students and successors in contemporary Poland. This publication will be richly illustrated and accompanied by two DVDs with a selection of the most interesting short films of the last twenty years.
Co-published by John Libbey and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warsaw, Poland.
Mateusz Werner, Doctor of Humanities, film and literature critic, essayist. He currently lectures at Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw, and is Editor of the philosophical quarterly Kronos. In 2009 he published the book 'Wobec nihilizmu. Gombrowicz, Witkacy' on the phenomenon of nihilism in literature. Co-creator and compère of film programmes for Polish public television: The Picture Show (TVP Channel 2) and Half-seriously (TVP Channel 1). For several years he programmed and managed the Gallery of Film Arts at the Zacheta Exhibition Hall in Warsaw.