Today we are going to take a look at the Polish cinema, we guys will introduce you to the Polish cinema since you’ve probably seen one two three Polish movies, perhaps know one or two directors. We have done a research on the Polish films, we have created a list of movies I think you should watch the movies unless don’t have any priority. We tried to pick different movies from different genres from different periods of time so you can get a broader idea about Polish cinema and then maybe we hope we might get you interested about it.
So Let’s Take A Look At 10 Polish Movies That You Should Watch Before Dying
10. The Debt AKA Dlug (1999)
This film is directed by Krzysztof Krauze and this is the film that like majority of his other Polish Movies is based on a real story. It is a story about two young guys who decide to make their own business. They want to sell motorbikes until they have enough money. They take some loans from the bank, but then they meet one of their friends from high school who turn out to be really successful in life.
But after the business kind of is not going the way they want to, he starts demanding more and more money everyday to the point where they’re mentally and physically harassed by him, and told that they’re going to be killed. This is a very emotionally strong movie because was a real story. The film was very controversial in Poland and if you want to read more about the movie before watching do that. But I will recommend you to watch the movie first and then maybe going in-depth and reading the real story how it was.
9. The Wedding AKA Wesele (2004)
The next in the list is “The Wedding”, the film was directed by Wojtek Smarzowski. If you’re interested in very real, very heavy cinema, the kind that is not scarred heavily by history and by the Polish ancestry and by everything that Poland went through then this film is heavily recommended. The Wedding tells a simple story about the wedding that gradually goes kind of worse and worse and worse.
Let me give you a little bit of background because this is going to be important when you watch this movie. So you know Polish people are very Catholic and of course there are different parts of Poland which are more Catholic and less Catholic. But they’re still villages which are extremely Catholic which believe that if a woman or a girl actually gets pregnant then she has to get get married because otherwise she’s going to be a little sl*t with a baby.
A girl who is marrying a guy at the beginning, you don’t know that this is a guy that was basically found by her father and agreed to marry her and raise the child which is not his in order to avoid a scandal. This starts a string of events that occur at the wedding and everything becomes worse and worse and worse. It leads us to very bittersweet ending, it’s a pretty sad and depressing movie.
8. Knife In The Water AKA Nóż w wodzie (1962)
You probably are familiar with Roman Polanski because of his scandals, because of his movies. Most people know him from hit neo-noir mystery film Chinatown (974) starring Jack Nicholson. Knife In The Water is a very beautifully crafted psychological drama. It’s about an older like middle-aged couple who decides to take a younger man with them on a boat. At first nothing happens, but then you can see a mental fight going on between the two men who are fighting for domination and sexual tension keeps building up. Leon Niemczyk performance in the film was met with critical acclaim.
7. Teddy Bear AKA Mis (1980)
It is a cult Polish film directed by Stanislaw Bareja, a director who specialized in comedies but they’re very satirical they’re very ironic, they are very sarcastic. So Teddy Bear is like this staple example of his movies where he’s mocking, he’s making fun of communism and all those absurdities that were during the communism. He showed what Poland was like during that time, everything that’s in this movie was happening. Of course he’s exaggerating, he’s coloring, he’s made it look even more absurd than it was, but he’s making it to make us laugh. Check out his movies because he made a lot of them where he’s mocking the communism.
6. Camera Buff AKA Amator (1979)
Basically in this movie we have a relation between the art and the politics. This is a story about about a guy who buys a camera because he wants to he was to make videos of his daughter. His daughter was just born and he wants take pictures of her so that he’d capture those precious moments as memories. Now again here you have something very important that you can see in a lot of Polish movies from that period of time. Back then you know everything was censored so the Polish couldn’t say or express themselves.
So the artists were trying to find the ways to be sneaky and to say it in a way that they won’t be censored. At this time the audience learned how to read this language and learn how to read all those metaphors and all those symbols, and signals given from the director. This movie is a perfect able of how the Polish fought with the communism, how they created the art the way they wanted to, and not to fulfill some propaganda for communism, but to feel free. This movie talks bout being free and freeing yourself through art because the the main characters feels feels free through recording and making videos.
5. A Short Film About Killing AKA Krótki film o zabijaniu (1988)
This film comes from director Krzysztof Kieślowski. A Short Film About Killing is just a part of Dekalog:Five so he created ten movies, each movie for one Dekalog. The film is around one hour and a little bit more, but this one is the most important on the list. It’s definitely the most popular, it also won many awards in many cinema festivals around the world. The film gives you a kind of comparison between like a very senseless and violent murder and execution down by the state, and then you have this kind of moral question about killing. So in general I would highly recommend this film.
4. The Last Day of Summer AKA Ostatni dzień lata (1958)
This movie is very poetic, it’s very silent, it’s very beautiful made. The director of the film Tadeusz Konwicki was also a writer, he was writing novels he was writing poems, but he was also directing. You can definitely see his writing talent in the movie because the movie is very beautiful. It’s not an empty silence, this is the silence that speaks to you, this silence is very symbolic.
The film has a very simple plot, it’s about people meeting at the beach and they don’t know each other, they are totally random people. With time we find out that they are scarred by memories and by the evens of World War II. However they’re not able to speak about it that’s why it’s silent because (a) they’re not able to speak about it or (b) because they’re not able to communicate after war, after what the war did to them.
3. Kanal (1956)
The film was directed by Andrzej Wajda, the reason you should watch this film is to get an idea about the Polish art during the war and after the war. The film focuses on those scars done by history to Polish nation and Kanal is definitely worth watching. It’s the first film talking about the 1944 Warsaw Uprising where a couple of people trying to escape Nazi. They basically have to do it through sewage, through the canals under the city.
2. Mother Joan of the Angels AKA Matka Joanna od Aniołów AKA The Devil and the Nun (1961)
This film was directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz. This film was very controversial because of the topic because of the times remember it was 1960s so movies like that hadn’t been made yet. It was a long time till we got to Exorcist so it was very controversial especially in the Catholic Poland. The story talks about the possession of nuns and there are rumors that there are some demonic powers in there so one priest goes to investigate the issue to investigate. One of the scariest Polish movies ever made.
1. Man of Marble AKA Człowiek z marmuru (1976)
The film tells the story of a documentary director who trying to make a documentary about one of the bricklayers who in 1950 was kind of hailed as a hero and then she tries to investigate why because he fell from his grace. He was very private about his life, he didn’t want to speak about so she tries to investigate why. The more and more she finds out about his life, the more she discovers that he was doing like basically the fact that he was belonging to the organized labor. It was something that the organizations and the party didn’t really like and guys let me tell you if the party didn’t like something you’re in a big big trouble. You are either doing what they were telling you or they’re gonna ruin your life. This movie is also directed by Andrzej Wajda.
So guys did you enjoy our list of Polish movies? Did we miss your favorite Polish film? Comment your favorite film and we’ll include it in our list of Polish movies. Do share this list of amazing Polish movies with your friends.