Polish Film Festival

Film, Film festivals
Escaped child concentration camp inmates in a forest
Photograph: Lukasz Bak Werewolf

Time Out says

New cinema from Poland pushes the boundaries in this annual film festival

There’s no doubting Poland’s unique place in the history of cinema. Consider the work of directors such as Krzysztof Kieslovski, Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda and Agnieszka Holland. Think about current directorial talents such as Paweł Pawlikowski (Cold War), and the extraordinary work of Polish movie poster designers. 

In recognition of the industry, the 2019 program of the local Polish Film Festival has been announced, with the best recent Polish films on the program along with an Australian documentary with a Polish theme.

Closing the Festival will be Holland’s acclaimed new biopic Mr Jones, which received Best Film nominations at the 2019 Polish Film Festival (Golden Lion) at the Berlin International Film Festival (Golden Bear). Starring James Norton, Joseph Mawle, Peter Sarsgaard and Vanessa Kirby, Mr Jones is an impactful account of Welsh journalist Gareth Jones and his efforts to expose Soviet atrocities in Ukraine in the 1930s.

Dolce Fine Giornata stars "the dame of Polish cinema" and Sundance 2019 Best Actor Award winner, Krystyna Janda, as a poet whose comments following a terrorist attack land her in deep water.

An epic period drama, The Butler, portrays the love affair between a young Kashubian man a German aristocrat. Werewolf is a disturbing World War II thriller by writer-director Adrian Panec, while 53 Wars is Ewa Bukowska’s evocative psychological drama adapted from the autobiographical novel by Grayna Jagielska. 

Kinga Debska’s Playing Hard depicts the struggles of three separate women with alcohol. Olga Chajda’s directorial debut Nina is an erotic LGBTQIA drama. Wojtek Smarzowski’s controversial box office hit, Clergy, tackles bad behaviour within the Catholic church. 

There is also a Polish remake of the Italian hit comedy Perfect Strangers, Nie Znajomi, in which guests at a dinner party agree to share every text message or phone call they receive over the course of the evening. This one is screening in Polish only.

Aussie documentary The Polish Missionaries chronicles a determined band of faith-based aid workers have given up their comfortable lives to heed their call in remote Papua New Guinea. 

Screenings take place at the Ritz Cinemas December 5–8; tickets are on sale now

By: Time Out editors

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