Contemporary Polish Cinema and Culture
Dr. Jacek Mikolajczyk
You may know a couple of Polish movie directors like Polanski or Kieslowski, but contemporary Polish cinema is far richer than you can imagine. After the collapse of communism in 1989, movie directors in Poland seriously questioned whether real political change was possible. They produced several action movies, like The Pigs by Wladyslaw Pasikowski, which take place in a corrupt and degenerate world, ruled by mafia and former members of communist regime. These films are darker than The Godfather and Fight Club combined. When these artists started to discuss Poland’s current economic problems, they began to shoot movies like Krzysztof Krauze’s The Debt, which we could call a Polish version of American Psycho. Wojciech Smarzowski, a new star of Polish cinema, deals in his movies with Poland’s troubled past, creating works comparable to Coen brothers’ films. We will discuss all of these movies and many others in the context of contemporary Polish culture and politics. All films have English subtitles.