18 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
IFI announces lineup for Kinopolis Polish Film Festival 2023
15 Nov 2023 : News Desk
The Last Spark of Hope (W Nich Cała Nadzieja)
The IFI has announced the lineup for the 2023 four-day celebration of new Polish cinema, Kinopolis, running December 7th - 10th.

The IFI’s annual festival of new Polish film once again captures the breadth and diversity of the country’s national cinema. Alongside the selection of new and established talent, the IFI will present a film by a Polish auteur Walerian Borowczyk on the centenary of his birth.

A number of filmmakers and actors will come to Dublin to present their work, participating in Q&As after their respective films.

The programme is as follows:

Directors: D.K. Welchman, Hugh Welchman
Thursday, December 7th (18.20)
112 mins, Poland-Serbia-Lithuania, 2023, Digital, Subtitled

From the directors of Loving Vincent (2017) comes this adaptation of the novel by Polish Nobel laureate Władisław Reymont (1867–1925), a book still taught in the author’s homeland. Animated in a style drawing on contemporaneous Polish art, it focuses on the beautiful Jagna (Kamila Urzedowska), a member of a close-knit community in a rural Polish village where tradition is paramount. Object of both envy and desire, rumours spread about her promiscuity, even as she does in fact risk everything by engaging in an illicit romance with the married son of the area’s richest farmer, who himself has his eye on her as a possible bride.

Director: Kinga Dębska
Friday, December 8th (18.20)
94 mins, Poland, 2023, Digital, Subtitled

In Kinga Dębska’s new film, devoted sisters Nastka (Paulina Pytlak) and Łucja (Joanna Drabik) must each contend with the very different constraints imposed upon them by their physical limitations. While Nastka has spent her life confined to a wheelchair following medical negligence that saw her starved of oxygen at birth, her sister has become a leading ballerina in one of Poland’s most prestigious and demanding companies. As Łucja’s entire career and indeed sense of self are put at risk by an injury, Nastka is encouraged by vivacious new neighbour Józefina (Kinga Preis) to become part of the wider world, and to fight for experiences she might previously never have considered.

Director: Jakub Piątek
Saturday, December 9th (13.10)
91 mins, Germany-Poland, 2023, Digital, Subtitled

Since its inception in 1927, the International Chopin Piano Competition, devoted solely to performances of the composer’s work, has taken place in Warsaw every five years. Hugely prestigious, it has the power and authority to launch winners’ careers overnight. However, to illustrate the standards expected of competitors, it twice happened in the 1990s that there was no award for first place. Jakub Piątek’s observational documentary follows a group of competitors at the most recent event. As personalities become more evident and the styles of approach are differentiated, the film becomes a fascinating insight into the dedication required to participate in such rarefied circles, and the attendant costs.

Director: Piotr Biedroń
Saturday, December 9th (15.15)
88 mins, Poland, 2023, Digital, Subtitled

Piotr Biedroń’s debut feature is a film that addresses issues central to the future of our species, such as climate change and artificial intelligence. Following the Climate Wars, inspired by the mass movement of refugees and the scarcity of basic resources, Ewa (Magdalena Wieczorek) is, as far as she knows, the last surviving human. Her only company in her encampment is a former military robot (voiced by Jacek Beler) who constantly roams the perimeter, challenging anyone who tries to enter for the latest password. When this changes while Ewa is still outside, she must try to reason with the robot in order to save her own life.

Followed by Q&A with director Piotr Biedroń and actor Magdalena Wieczorek.

Director: Jan Holoubek
SAT 9th (17.45)
115 mins, Poland-Latvia, 2023, Digital, Subtitled

An elderly woman searching for the child she gave up finds him. He, Hans (Jakub Gierszał), takes the opportunity to leave Communist Poland to join her and his new family in the West. However, Hans is in reality a spy who has stolen this identity, using his position in a Strasbourg office to feed information to his superiors at home. Meanwhile, the real missing son, Jan (Tomasz Schuchardt), remains behind the Iron Curtain, an active member of Solidarity fighting for a free Poland whose ongoing search for his mother puts his counterpart at risk of discovery. Gierszał is chilling as the ruthless operative in this gripping psychological thriller.

Followed by Q&A with actor Jakub Gierszał.

Director: Walerian Borowczy
Sunday, December 10th (13.00)
130 mins, Poland, 1975, Digital, Subtitled

Screening to mark its director’s centenary, The Story Of Sin is the only film made by Walerian Borowczyk in his native Poland. This film, relatively restrained by the filmmaker’s usual standards (see The Beast, 1975), follows the decline in fortunes of Ewa (Grażyna Długołęcka) brought about by her inextinguishable love for a married man, Łukasz (Jerzy Zelnik). When the pious, chaste young woman is seduced and abandoned by the man, she follows him across Europe, her desperate search leading to an ever more precipitous fall from grace. Borowczyk’s masterful manipulation of melodramatic conventions was a huge hit in his homeland.

Director: Łukasz Karwowski
Sunday, December 10th (15.45)
Film Info: 94 mins, Poland, 2023, Digital, Subtitled

Dawid Ogrodnik, one of Poland’s most consistently versatile and impressive actors, turns in another chameleonic performance as miner Alojz. Overly fond of alcohol, with a tendency to violence when drunk, Alojz oscillates between tenderness and cruelty to those around him, bullying an effeminate new colleague and abusing wife Anna (Małgorzata Gorol). A cave-in at the mine sees Alojz rescue that same colleague from certain death, but as reward for this act of selfless bravery, he is left permanently injured, and must adapt to a new life. As both he and Anna struggle with the changes, the two re-evaluate and redefine their relationship in director Łukasz Karwowski’s moving film.

Followed by Q&A with director Łukasz Karwowski

Director: Klaudiusz Chrostowski
Sunday, December 10th (18.20)
83 mins, Poland, 2023, Digital, Subtitled

Leaving behind family, partner, and career while he comes to terms with the unexpected death of his father, Bartek (Jakub Gierszał) heads for the secluded isle of Foula, largely unchanged since its appearance in Powell and Pressburger’s 1937 The Edge Of The World. He finds work with an eccentric local farmer, and settles into an arduous routine. After struggling with his new living conditions and habitat, and aided by a goat with whom he bonds, Bartek finds his place on Foula and comes to appreciate its staggering natural beauty, even as he considers his return to the wider world in this contemplative film built on Jakub Gierszał’s superb performance.

Followed by Q&A with director Klaudiusz Chrostowski and actor Jakub Gierszał.

Tickets can be booked here.

The IFI is supported by the Arts Council. Kinopolis is supported by the Embassy of Poland in Ireland and Tracey Solicitors.

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