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Poland Selects ‘Afterimage’ for Foreign-Language Category of Oscars

The Polish submission is the ninth for 90-year-old director Andrzej Wajda who has been nominated four times but never won an Oscar.

Poland has submitted Afterimage, veteran director Andrzej Wajda’s film about an artist persecuted by Communist-era authorities, the Oscars’ foreign-language category.

Films by Wajda, who turned 90 earlier this year, have been submitted by Poland on eight previous occasions. He has been nominated four times, most recently in 2007 for Katyn, his film about the wartime massacre of Polish officers by the Soviet secret police, but has never won the coveted golden statue.

Afterimage, which had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this month, reflects Wajda’s lifelong passion for probing beneath the surface of Polish life to reflect the country’s troubled history and/or contemporary issues.

The Hollywood Reporter Toronto review called the film “a compelling portrait, despite some broad brush strokes.”

On the surface, Afterimage is a biopic about avant-garde artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski (played by Boguslaw Linda) who was persecuted by post-war Polish authorities for his refusal to employ his art in the service of the Communist cause. Strzeminski was a contemporary of early Soviet abstract and constructivist artists that included Kasimir Malevich and Katarzyna Kobro, whom he later married.

Wajda’s film, which concentrates on the last couple of years of Strzeminski’s life when devoted students at the art institute where he teaches refuse to desert him even though they, like their revered teacher, are kicked out by college authorities, Hollywood Reporter writes.

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