Poland Now


April 27 – 30, 2017

Istanbul Modern Cinema presents a program bringing together examples of recent contemporary Polish cinema. The program features films by young emerging directors of Polish cinema that have earned acclaim and won awards at international festivals. Among films that stand out in the program are All These Sleepless Nights, which earned Michal Marczak the Best Directing award at the Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Documentary Competition; The Lure, which won a special jury prize, again, at the Sundance Film Festival; and United States of Love, which won the Silver Bear for Best Script at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.



Talk:Contemporary Polish Cinema

April 30, Sunday, 17.00            

Moderator:Senem Aytaç

The talk on contemporary Polish cinema features, art director and co-founder of the Association of Poles in Istanbul Agata Trojak and Kuba Czekaj, the director of Baby Bump.



Poland | DCP, Color, 92’ |Polish

Director: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
Cast: Marta Mazurek, Michalina Olszanska, Kinga Preis

Silver and Golden, two wild mermaids, are drawn ashore one night in Warsaw. While Silver seeks to find love in humans, blood-thirsty Golden wants to satiate her hunger with human flesh. They meet a family and join a musical band which plays at a nightclub. This will be a turning point in the journey on which they set out to explore the wonders and temptations of life on land. For this provocative coming-of-age story, director Agnieszka Smoczyńska drew inspiration from nightlife in Warsaw in the 1980s and from Hans Christian Andersen’s tales.




Poland, UK | DCP, Color, 100’ |Polish

Director: Michał Marczak
Cast: Krzysztof Baginski, Michał Huszcza, Eva Lebuef

While Warsaw is at the dawn of a new era, two young men, Krzysztof and Michał, are dealing with their own growing pains. All they want to do is virtually “raid” the city’s streets and just enjoy the moment. They want to see what kind of experience it would be to stay awake in a world that has fallen asleep. The film won Michał Marczak the Best Director Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival World Documentary Competition. While drawing the portrait of 20-year-olds living in Poland, the film pushes the boundaries of traditional documentary filmmaking.



21 X NEW YORK, 2016

Poland | DCP, Color, 70’ |Polish, Chinese

Director: Piotr Stasik

We’re in the NYC subway where thousands of lives intersect every day. We follow many characters until they come up from the ground to the surface and we witness their pains and passions and their dreams, which have sometimes come to nothing and are sometimes still waiting to be fulfilled. Through a city and its inhabitants, the documentary takes the viewer on an emotional journey in which it reveals the solitude-infused everyday lives of people living in the 21st century western world.




Poland | DCP, Color, 124 |Polish

Director: Jan P. Matuszyński
Cast: Andrzej Seweryn, Dawid Ogrodnik, Aleksandra Konieczna

The film centers on the Polish painter Zdzisław Beksiński, who became known for his unconventional surrealist style toward the end of the 20th century. Beksiński never puts his camera down, obsessed with recording every moment of his life throughout the 28 years of his marriage: from his dystopian paintings and family discussions to his near-death experiences, love-hate relationships, and the countless funerals he attends... Based on these recordings, director Jan P. Matuszyński brings to the screen the biopic of this unusual family full of passion. Andrzej Seweryn won the Best Actor Award at the Locarno Film Festival for his interpretation of Zdzisław Beksiński.




Poland, Switzerland | DCP, Color, 75’ |Polish

Director: Anka Sasnal, Wilhelm Sasnal
Cast: Rafał Maćkowiak, Edet Bassey

Rafał Mularz is a “stranger” who has abstracted himself from life of his own will. He does not act according to the ways accepted by society in general and has created his own lifestyle, which he believes will protect him from the outside world. But one day, when he encounters an immigrant washed ashore who is more of a “stranger” than he is, he starts to question this lifestyle. Co-directed by Polish contemporary painter Wilhelm Sasnal and his wife, the film is a modern adaptation of Albert Camus’ The Stranger.




Poland | DCP, Color, 90’ |Polish

Director: Kuba Czekaj
Cast: Kacper Olszewski, Agnieszka Podsiadlik, Caryl Swift

Mickey House has turned 11 and no longer feels like a child. Actually, he has no idea about what he exactly is either. He is not on good terms with his friends and his mother is like a puzzle to him. During this transition period, Mickey confuses reality and fantasy and experiences everything in extremes. Yet he will gather his strength until the inevitable happens and continue his struggle. Director Kuba Czekaj draws the portrait of the adolescence of an 11-year-old boy in a fantastical comic-book style.




Poland, Sweden | DCP, Color, 106’ |Polish

Director: Tomasz Wasilewski
Cast: Julia Kijowska, Magdalena Cielecka, Dorota Kolak

Poland in the 1990s. The winds of change are blowing throughout the country and awaiting people is a future that is as much one of freedom as of uncertainty. Four women of different ages who feel the effects of this transformation decide to completely change their lives, fulfill their desires, and fight for their happiness. Drawing the portrait of four strong women based on the political and social transformation in Poland, director Tomasz Wasilewski creates a touching period film which won the Silver Bear for Best Scrip at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival.





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