|Polish Film Festival
This series is an Egyptian Theatre exclusive!
As the world steadily becomes truly ever more of a global
village, we are constantly discovering new, previously low profile, yet stunningly
worthwhile films from all over the planet, particularly a burgeoning Eastern Europe. Join
us for this hard-hitting selection of penetrating documentaries from the vanguard of new
Polish cinema. This series will take place in the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian. www.polishfilmLA.org
Friday, May 2 7:30 PM [Spielberg Theatre]
WEARING A FOUR-CORNERED CAP
AND A TIGER SKIN (WROGATYWCE I TYGRYSIEJ SKORZE), 2008, 56 min. Dir. Jerzy Lubach.
This film presents the little-known story of Georgian officers who fought in the ranks of
the Polish Army, Home Army and Polish Armed Forces during WWII. This subject matter was
banned in Communist Poland for political reasons; it was only in the 1990s that Polish
historians began analyzing it. "Polish" Georgians, loyal to the country that had
accepted them, proved their heroism during the September 1939 defense campaign and later
in occupied Poland and on the western fronts. Many later received the most prestigious
Polish military distinctions. Numerous Georgian officers became involved in all spheres of
life in their new motherland, marrying Polish women and brought up their children in the
atmosphere of pride and remembrance of a heroic fight for the freedom of both nations.
13 YEARS, 13 MINUTES,
2007, 49 min. Dir. Marek Maldis. A story of two boys caught up in the turmoil of
the dramatic events of 1956 in Central Europe. At 13, Romek Strzalkowski was the youngest
victim of the first workers' rebellion against Communist authorities in Poland. During
"Black Thursday" on June 26, he was killed protesting near the UB political
police headquarters. Peter Mansfeld was the youngest victim of post-revolt Communist
reprisals in Hungary. As a 15-year-old he took part in the Budapest fighting. After the
revolution had been quelled by the Soviet army in 1956, he did not give up; he was
arrested in 1959 and sentenced to death. Because of the Communists' cruelty, it took as
long as 13 minutes for Peter to die, "like Jesus Christ on the cross," said his
Hungarian biographer. The filmmakers analyze the importance of the legend about the two
boys who fought against Communism in Poland and Hungary.
Saturday, May 3 5:00 PM [Spielberg Theatre]
FREEDOM IS A GOD-GIVEN GIFT
(WOLNOSC JEST DAREM OD BOGA), 2006, 52 min. Director Cezary Ciszewski spent six
months with Warsaw heroin addicts in an abandoned house at Foksal 13 and ended up
recording his own descent into drug abuse. The film is a terrible, at times comic theater
of life and death performed by a herd of city rats that sucked him into the very essence
of the addicts' nest. Ciszewski records his own "performance" and his adventure
of being afflicted with a terminal disease, which he tries to overcome by attempting to
enter the elite club of One Percent: those who manage to recover. Halfway through the film
shoot, he gets in touch with Monar, Poland's largest drug rehab organization, to seek help
and to arrange for detoxification for all those in his film who want it.
Plus Shorts: "52 Percent"
("52 Procent," 2007, 20 min.) Dir. Rafal Skakski. The title of this
multi-award-winning short film from the Cracow, Pamplona and Zagreb Film Festivals refers
to the ideal proportion of one's leg length to height; it's also one of the most important
admissions criteria set by the State Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg. Alla has two months
to reach this dream proportion. Will she be admitted to the school? "The First Day" ("Pierwszy dzien," 2007, 20
min.) Dir. Martin Sauter. Another festival winner, the film looks at one of the
first boundaries young people have to cross to become adults. The film follows a few
children from the tundra who move to an urban environment.
Saturday, May 3 7:30 PM [Spielberg Theatre]
POLISH FILM FESTIVAL DOCUMENTARY SHORTS
"Live Action Radio" ("Radioakcja," 2008, 27 min.) Dir.
Tomasz Jurkiewicsz. Pawel and Grzegorz decide to set up a radio station for young
people. The challenges and obstacles they have to deal with turn out to be an important
test of their friendship. "Justice? Please Wait
("Sprawiedliwosc? Prosze czekac
" 2007, 30 min.) Longtime Polish TV
reporter Agnieszka Swidzinska takes on the system with the story of three women who
lost their beloveds during the Wujek mine strike. Swidzinska covered more than a decade of
trials of those accused of shooting nine Wujek workers at the beginning of the martial law
period. Her film points to the powerlessness of justice against this crime, allegedly
committed by members of the special riot forces. "Weirdo"
("Dziwadlo," 2007, 9 min.) Dir. Ireneusz Parkos Prokopiuk. Exotic
Podlasie in their purest form, about a search for an ape in a nearby forest, documents
rural problems in a grotesque way. Prize winner of the competition held by the biggest
media outlet in Poland. "Whisperers" ("Szeptuchy," 2007, 13
min.) Dir. Marek Wlodzimirow. This short is actually two movies that present a
hodge-podge of religions and ceremonies of the old Slavs, including demonology and
superstitions practiced in the Podlasie region. The focus is on primeval ways of healing
by prayer and utilizing the beautiful natural life of the Podlasie to remove spells.
"If It Happens" ("A gdyby tak sie stalo," 2007, 39 min.) Exactly
12 years ago, director Marcel Lozinski filmed 6-year-old Tomasz joyously being a
child: riding a scooter along park paths, feeding squirrels, asking old people - with a
childish frankness - questions adults don't dare ask, about joy, loneliness, fear of
death, dreams, love and lack of love. Now, on his 18th birthday, Tomasz returns to the
garden of his childhood, allowing us the exceptional chance to see what the inevitable
process of growing up means, what is gained and what is lost.
Sunday, May 4 3:00 PM [Spielberg Theatre]
THE EAGLE PHARMACY (APTEKA POD
ORLEM), 2006, 45 min. Director Krzysztof Miklaszewski examines the history of a
Cracow pharmacy established in 1941 by the Germans, in the Jewish ghetto, during their
WWII occupation. It is a distressing memory for Tadeusz Pankiewicz, a man who inherited
his profession as well as the pharmacy from his ancestors, prominent Galician pharmacists.
Pankiewicz, the only Pole living in the Jewish community, proved to be a true protector
and rescuer of the Jews. His pharmacy became an oasis of survival for dozens of people and
their eventual path to freedom.
("Kredens," 2007, 29 min) Dir. Jacob Dammas. In the late 1960s, four
strong men from a local bar in Wroclaw in southwest Poland carried a 150kg German-made
credenza from one side of a Zgodna street to the other. The credenza had been standing in
the same apartment for 80 years of changing tenants: from two German-Protestant sisters to
a Polish-Jewish family to today's Polish-Catholic home. Until one day, when it
MUSIC PARTISANS (MUZYCZNA
PARTYZANTKA), 2007, 52 min. Dir. Miroslav Dembinski. This documentary presents
young rock music bands who are in opposition to the regime of Alexander Lukashenko,
president of Belarus. Their music expresses their attitude about the reality of life in