Big emotions, memorable protagonists and challenging stories are in store for moviegoers at the 14th edition of the CinePOLSKA Polish film festival that will take place on November 1-6 at the Elvire Popesco cinema in Bucharest.
The CinePOLSKA Festival is a unique opportunity to see the Polish films most recently awarded at the most important festivals in the world. The films on show are often screened for the first time in Romania, and some can be seen only at this festival. This year’s programme includes films awarded at Cannes, Berlin and Karlovy Vary.
“The films at the 2018 edition of the CinePOLSKA festival are like a mirror worth looking into. Moviegoers will find topics close to each one of us – from love to passion and hatred or fear of alterity,” Polish Institute Director Agnieszka Skieterska said. “The best Polish film directors and actors from the young generation who triumph at the most important cinema events are talking about all of this,” she adds.
CinePOLSKA starts on Thursday, November 1, with Pawel Pawlikowski’s ‘Cold War,’ awarded this year at Cannes for best director and, at the same time, this year’s Polish candidate for the Academy Awards. Having won an Oscar for ‘Ida’ in 2014, the director this time presents an impossible love story between two people who cannot be together and who cannot live without each other. The action takes place against the backdrop of the Cold War in Poland, Germany, Yugoslavia and France, being accompanied by extraordinarily beautiful picture and soundtrack. Worth noting is Joanna Kulig and Tomasz Kot’s remarkable acting.
On Friday, November 2, Bucharest moviegoers can watch the bold comedy ‘Panic Attack,’ in which, due to unusual events, daily life turns into madness. Young Polish film director Pawel Maslona takes an intelligent and ironic look at 21st century man, its weaknesses, phobias and passions. The fate of several heroes, apparently unconnected, intersects in the film, their lives irreversibly changing.
We can grow convinced of the fact that cinema can be a source of energy on Saturday, November 3, during the screening of Lukasz Palkowski’s ‘Najlepszy,’ based on a true story. The protagonist is Jerzy Gorski, a former drug addict who, despite great hardships, became two-times winner of the Ironman world title in 1990, an extremely difficult triathlon competition. Gorski’s story, excellently recounted, makes us regain our confidence in what is difficult or impossible to achieve.
On Sunday, November 4, the CinePOLSKA festival will screen, in a premiere in Romania, Malgorzata Szumowska’s ‘Mug,’ winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlinale in 2018. Described as a “contemporary fairy tale,” the ironic story of a man who lost his face in an accident, was given a new face following innovative surgery, and returned to his village, is for some a bitter take on contemporary rural Poland, while for others it is a universal story about acceptance and reaction to alterity.
After winning the Gdynia Polish Film Festival’s Grand Prix, the most important festival in Poland, Piotr Domalewski’s ‘Cicha noc,’ which will be screened on Monday, November 5, was considered the best Polish film of 2017. Debutant film director Piotr Domalewski tells the story of a young Polish migrant who comes to his native village on Christmas Eve. After his visit, the life of his entire family will change completely. This sincere and wise story is very well received in countries in which emigration is a universal experience.
CinePOLSKA ends on Tuesday, November 6, with the screening of Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze’s ‘Ptaki spiewaja w Kigali,’ which will take moviegoers to completely different corners of the world. The genocide in Rwanda is the backdrop of the story of the Polish ornithologist and the Tutsi girl she saved. During the genocide, the Hutus, who were ruling the country in 1994, killed more than one million Tutsis. In this emotional minimalist film, which is food for thought long after one leaves the cinema hall, the Krauzes are asking questions about the inevitability of evil, the strength of the human spirit, the power of friendship and of forgiveness. The protagonists, Poland’s Jowita Budnik and Rwanda’s Eliane Umuhire, were recognised ex aequo as the best actresses at the Karlovy Vary Festival in the Czech Republic.
The festival is organised by the Polish Institute in Bucharest and the Association of Polish Cinema Workers, in collaboration with the French Embassy in Romania and the French Institute in Bucharest. The event is financially supported by the Polish Cinema Art Institute.
Diana Barbu, a young graphics artist and comic book writer from Targu Jiu, signed CinePOLSKA’s poster this year.
In the spring of 2019, CinePOLSKA will go to other Romanian cities too, where moviegoers will be able to see a selection of the films presented in Bucharest this year.