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Film still from "In The Name Of." Image courtesy of the distributor.

Nov 21 - OPENING NIGHT

 

Museum of Modern Art
The Celeste Bartos Theater
4 West 54th St.
(Invitation only)

 

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 teen pregnancy.

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
375 Greenwich Street, between North Moore and Franklin

 

Nov 22

 

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.

 


Nov 23

 

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')

Kieslowski's debut 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


Nov 24

 

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 Polish filmmakers.


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 director.

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