Some of the best Polish history films ever made will be screened in New York over the weekend as part of a worldwide celebration of the centenary of Poland’s independence.
The screenings are part of an effort by institutions including the Polish Filmmakers Association to bring Poland’s complicated history closer to international audiences as the country in 2018 marks 100 years since regaining independence.
Seven selected Polish film masterpieces are being shown as part of the international project in various countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia throughout this year.
The movies reflect some of the most tragic moments of the nation’s history and are “the key to understanding the Polish soul,” according to Jacek Bromski, head of the Polish Filmmakers Association (SFP).
The films focus on different periods of Polish history from the time the country was under foreign rule for 123 years until 1918 (Andrzej Wajda’s The Promised Land and Jerzy Antczak’s Nights and Days), through the dark years of World War II (Roman Polanski’s The Pianist and Wojciech Smarzowski’s Volhynia), and the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Germans (Jan Komasa’s Warsaw 44), to the days of a postwar struggle against the country’s communist authorities (Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds and Man of Marble).
The New York screenings, under the collective heading of “100 Years of Poland’s Regained Independence: Polish History in Film Masterpieces,” are being held at the city’s Museum of the Moving Image from Friday to Sunday, with additional shows scheduled for June 13, according to Beata Calińska, a spokeswoman for the New York Polish Film Festival, which has helped organise the project.