Film Preview: Rochester Polish Film Festival | Movie previews

Every year since 1997, the Rochester Polish Film Festival has offered local audiences a collection of film screenings, highlighting some of the best contemporary Polish films. Sponsored by the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester, this year’s festival kicks off on Tuesday, November 5 and runs through Sunday, November 10. With eight feature films screened, the lineup incorporates an eclectic mix of genres and subjects. .

The event begins with a special screening of the 1917 silent film “The Polish Dancer (Bestia)” Tuesday, November 5 at 7 p.m. at the Dryden Theater at the George Eastman Museum (900 East Avenue). A tragic love triangle with Pola Negri, the film will be presented with pre-recorded music and accompaniment by famous composer Włodek Pawlik. The Grammy Award-winning musician will participate in a question-and-answer session and discuss the composing process for silent films. Tickets for the opening night film can be purchased at the Dryden Theater prior to the screening. General admission is $ 8, $ 6 for members and $ 4 for students.

All of the following films will be screened at the Little Theater (240 East Avenue). Tickets can be purchased at the Little box office during regular movie theater hours and before each screening. Regular admission is $ 10 and $ 7 for students.

The following is a preview of some of this year’s selections, all of which will be shown in Polish with English subtitles.

The empathy of director Kinga Dębska “Playing hard (Zabawa Zabawa)”
weave the stories of three women struggling with alcoholism. Aided by a set of strong performances, Dębska refrains from judging her characters too harshly, telling a story of addiction as promising as it is painful. (Wednesday November 6, 7 p.m.)

Based in part on a true story, “Corpus Christi (Boże Ciało)” follows Daniel (a magnetic Bartosz Bielenia),> a violent offender incarcerated in a juvenile detention center. Behind bars, the young man has rediscovered a devout faith, deeply sincere and dreams of becoming a priest. Although his criminal record prevents him from entering seminary, when Daniel finds himself in a small isolated town upon his release, he impulsively convinces the locals that he is an ordained preacher from Warsaw. Given a position at the nearby parish, Daniel’s secret past places him in a unique position to truly speak from experience as he offers advice to others who have gone astray. In doing so, he comforts a city still reeling from tragedy, as the film raises compelling questions about religion, godliness, and who is truly worthy of redemption. (Thursday November 7 at 7 p.m.)

“The daughter of a trainer (Córka Trenera)”
follows Maciej (Jacek Braciak), a tennis coach traveling with his stubborn 17-year-old daughter Wiktoria (Karolina Bruchnicka) around the provincial tennis courts in Poland. When joined by a handsome young player named Igor (Bartlomiej Kowalski), Wiktoria struggles to decide what she really wants in life. She and Maciej face off for the first time in their lives, resulting in a touching exploration of the bond between father and daughter. (Saturday 9 November 3 p.m.)

Legendary Polish actor KrystynaJanda (in a performance that won the World Cinema Special Jury Prize for his portrayal at this year’s Sundance Film Festival) stars in the politically charged drama “Dolce Fine Giornata (Słodki Koniec Dnia).”
Following a deadly terrorist attack in Rome, a Nobel Prize-winning poet (Janda) uses the acceptance of a prize as a platform to speak out against the erosion of democracy in Europe – but when her comments spark a public reaction, it is not prepared for the public and staff the ensuing havoc. Jacek Borcuch’s complex and timely drama penetrates debates on immigration and terrorism by examining the roles of art and empathy in our modern age. (Saturday 9 November 7 p.m.)

A love triangle leads to a tragedy that shakes a Silesian mining town in “The Iron Bridge (Żelazny Most).” Kacper (Bartłomiej Topa) has an affair with Magda (Julia Kijowska), the wife of his best friend Oskar (Łukasz Simlat). It turns out that Kacper is Oskar’s foreman, which gives him the opportunity to send his friend to work so he can enjoy some more time with the man’s wife. But when a powerful explosion traps Oskar underground in the mine, the community mobilizes on a desperate search and rescue mission. A potentially melodramatic plot is explored with sensitivity and nuance by writer-director Monika Jordan-Młodzianowska, as the distraught couple find themselves torn between their love for each other and a guilt they cannot escape. (Sunday November 10, 3 p.m.)

Władysław Pasikowski directs the exciting and entertaining WWII spy thriller, “The Messenger (Kurier)” chronicle of the real story of Jan Nowak-Jeziorański, an agent who became known as “The Messenger from Warsaw”. the film follows as Nowak-Jeziorański, serving as the Polish government-in-exile’s envoy to London, is tasked with delivering a crucial message to the resistance. Pasikowski gives the story a rough, grainy texture, which helps overcome a bit of thinness in his character development. (Sunday November 10, 7 p.m.)


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