Nov 21 - OPENING NIGHT
The Celeste Bartos Theater
4 West 54th St.
7pm - Baby Blues (2012, 99') by Kasia Roslaniec
Awarded the Crystal Bear and a Best Feature
Award in the Generation 14+ section of the Berlin International Film Festival, this
audacious and lively second feature by Kasia Roslaniec tells a story of very
young parents and their irresponsible, devil-may-care ways of raising their
child. Channeling the work of Harmony Korine, Gus Van Sant and Larry Clark
but infusing the narrative with its very own brand of subversive humor, Roslaniec's
film presents a fresh look at Polish urban youth and comments on the issue of
The screening will be followed by a Q&A
with the films director Kasia Roslaniec and the producer, Agnieszka Kurzydlo.
Baby Blues press kit
All public screenings at Tribeca Film Center
Greenwich Street, between North Moore and Franklin
6pm - ANDRZEJ MUNK STUDIO PRESENTS:
Mercy (2012, 18') by Eliza Subotowicz
The Princess and the Wall (2012,
14') by Malgorzata Kozera
These two shorts by young, award-winning
Polish directors working within the Andrzej Munk Studio focus on the tension
between tradition and modernity that still defines much of contemporary Poland.
Boldly confronting the issues of religious faith (in Mercy) and cultural
influences that shape children's dreams (The Princess and the Wall), both
shorts present a complex view of Polish reality and the young women who try to
find their place within it.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A
with both directors, conducted by Sheila
Skaff, film scholar from Columbia University whose publications include
pioneering research on Polish film.
8pm - WORKING WOMEN:
A Woman Alone (1981, 92') by Agnieszka Holland
One of most daring films of its era, A
Woman Alone still has the raw power of uncompromising, deeply personal
cinema. The film was made for Polish TV in 1981, but because of censorship, it
wasn't shown publicly until 1987. It is an outrageously bleak, hard-hitting
story of a single mother trying to raise her child in a small Polish town
against all odds. Maria Chwalibog's knockout performance shows all the
desperation of Irena, who delivers mail by day and dreams of escaping the harsh
reality of her surroundings. Her love affair with a sickly, disabled man played
with great sensitivity by the future heartthrob Boguslaw Linda, seems to have a
liberating potential, until bad luck strikes again.
Upon its premiere at the 1988 Gdynia Film
Festival, the film was awarded three prizes: for leading roles for Chwalibog
and Linda, as well as a Special Jury Prize. Widely seen as a metaphor for the
situation of working women left to their own devices despite the raging enthusiasm
of the budding Solidarity era, the film grows with each passing year, its
meanings far surpassing the original context of early-1980s Poland.
A Woman Alone will be
preceded by a 1967 documentary short by Krystyna Gryczelowska, 24
Hours of Jadwiga L., which portrays a womans life as drab and full of
drudgery as Irenas, albeit in an urban setting.
The screening of A Woman Alone, will be preceded by a filmed, 9-minute introduction to the film by
Agnieszka Holland herself, as interviewed by Ela Bittencourt exclusively for our
series. An extended, 19-minute version of the interview may be found here.
6pm - URSZULA'S WAY:
So That It
Doesn't Hurt (1998, 45') by Marcel Lozinski
Urszula Flis was born into a traditional
family of Polish farmers and was expected to follow the ways of her small home
village. Instead of marrying, she chose to run her household on her own, taking
care of her elderly mother and devoting all her free time to her true passion:
reading. Her vast knowledge of literature enabled her to correspond with some
of the key intellectuals of her day. Marcel Lozinski portrayed her as a young
woman in his own short The Visit (1974) and came back to
her in 1998 in So that It Doesn't Hurt, showing Urszula as she reflects on the
life choices she once made. The film is
a unique portrait by one of the greatest Polish filmmakers.
8pm - WOMEN BY KIESLOWSKI:
Krzysztof Kieslowski, usually celebrated
for his late feature films such as the "Three Colors" trilogy, was a consummate
director of documentary shorts well before he made his first feature film. A
master of curt, effective storytelling, he explored a variety of subjects in
strikingly original form. These three films all focus to a various degree on
female subjects: factory workers, ballet dancers and a young pregnant wife
trying to make a living in mid-1970s Poland.
From the City of
Lodz (1969, 12')
short is a miniature portrait of the weaving industry hub of Poland. Female
workers are shown at their machines and at their leisure: seemingly complacent,
but also capable of protest the second their favorite local band is threatened
with being transferred to Warsaw. This warm, humane glimpse into the alleged
socialist paradise of communist Poland is completely devoid of anger and even
becomes something of a threadbare idyll.
Seven Women of Different Ages (1978, 13')
Kieslowski's short masterpiece consists of
seven sequences showing various stages of a ballerina's career. As we watch
seven women who chose careers in dance, individual differences disappear and we
get to witness a single story of physical effort, fierce resilience and the
pain of aging in a profession that has only use for female bodies in their
prime. Gorgeously shot by Witold Stok and masterfully cut by the legend of
Polish editing Lidia Zonn, this is a Kieslowski film as essential as anything
to be found in his later, widely celebrated career.
First Love (1974, 52')
Poland's first reality show of sorts, Kieslowski's
experiment was inspired by a newspaper story of a very young couple expecting
their first child and experiencing a string of bureaucratic hurdles. As we
witness Jadwiga and Roman's struggle to find a place of their own and avoid
judgment of the still puritan society, Kieslowski gives us a glimpse into 1970s
Poland as both a bureaucratic jungle and a place in which people are trying to
define their personal well-being.
Lozinski and Kieslowski press kit
9:30 pm -
Losing Sonia by Radka Franczak (2012, 49')
This new documentary by Polish filmmaker
Radka Franczak focuses on a young Russian Orthodox nun named Sonia, whose
unconventional ways make her stand out from the world and community around her.
She's part of the religious community, but her life has its own rhythms, as she
paints icons and takes care of her cats and plants. As we examine Sonia's life,
we also learn about her family history, deeply scarred by the many upheavals
Russia experiences in the last two centuries.
Losing Sonia press kit
5pm - In the
Name Of (2013, 105') by Malgoska Szumowska
Winner of the Teddy award for the best
LGBTQ-themed film at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, the film focuses on a gay
priest played by Andrzej Chyra, who is trying to fight his desires and function
in a small Polish village filled with xenophobia and desperation. Beautifully
shot, the film is yet another triumph for the internationally acclaimed Polish
filmmaker Malgoska Szumowska, typically hard-hitting and affectionate at the
same time. Szumowska is the key female voice in her generation of contemporary
In The Name Of press kit
7:30pm - Flying Blind (2013, 88') by Katarzyna Klimkiewicz
A powerful story of a passion between a
British military engineer and a young Algerian man reveals hidden racial and
cultural tensions that are often glossed over in mainstream cinema. This
honest, uncompromising melodrama touches upon a number of political and social
issues that still define whom we are allowed to love and what is the price to
pay for following one's heart and passion.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the