• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland



  • 23 January 2019

    "Canal" and "Generation", the first two movies by Andrzej Wajda, were screened last weekend at Cinemateket opening the grand Wajda retrospective devoted to the history of Poland in the 20th century.

    The overview of Andrzej Wajda movies with focus on the history of Poland was inaugurated on the 18th of January, 2019 at the Danish Film Institute with ‘Canal’ or ’63 days’. It is not only the first Polish movie focusing on the Warsaw Uprising, but also the work of art that paved the way for Wajda’s international recognition. On the following days ‘Generation’ and two documentary films, devoted to work of the Director, have been shown.


    While opening the retrospective, Ambassador Henryka Mościcka-Dendys underlined that 2019 is a special year of the 100th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Poland and Denmark, simultaneously announcing the retrospective in Cinemateket to be the first cultural event marking this jubilee. The Ambassador reminded also about the national mourning of 18-19 January 2018 in memory of the Mayor of Gdańsk Paweł Adamowicz, assassinated during a charity event on 13 January. Guests gathered at the Danish Film Institute honoured him with a minute of silence.


    Both screenings of ‘Canal’ and ‘Generation’ were preceded by short lectures of Mr Łukasz Jasina, a film expert, who dwelled upon Andrzej Wajda’s early years in the film industry, as well as the context of the above mentioned productions. Even though the films were made only two years apart from each other, the political climate shift after 1956 allowed the artist to focus on the politically sensitive Warsaw Uprising, whereas ‘Genereation’ produced just two years earlier, was a subject to communist censorship. Łukasz Jasina explained in more detail the trend, later named the Polish Film School, which united young artists dealing with their own war trauma on the screen, trying to honour the memory of their lost friends and war comrades.


    The retrospective was complemented with two documentaries – ‘Demons years later’ and ‘Wróblewski according to Wajda’, both directed by Andrzej Wajda himself and based upon his memories. Grzegorz Skorupski, a film expert of the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, co-producer of both movies, explained the logic behind the documentaries to the audience. The first movie ‘Demons years later’ tells the story of the phenomenon of the ‘Demons’, a theatre piece based on a novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, directed by Andrzej Wajda in the Teatr Stary (Old Theatre) in Cracow. This play was staged continuously for 10 years. Since the novel was censored and not allowed for publishing in the Soviet Union, the play has never been registered. Therefore the movie is an attempt to preserve the memory about a famous theatre piece. The other documentary called ‘Wróblewski according to Wajda’, created simultaneously with the opening of an exhibition under the same title, was an opportunity for Andrzej Wajda to tell the story of his friend Andrzej Wróblewski, a painter, and his work, as well as of the reasons which made him, the Director, to give up painting in favour of the film industry.


    The retrospective of Andrzej Wajda runs till 25th of January. Its programme includes 11 movies of the great Polish director with focus on the history of Poland, such as ‘Katyn’, ‘Landscape After the Battle’, ‘Ashes and Diamonds’. Detailed program is available on the Cinemateket website.

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