The 9th Annual New York Polish Film Festival will open festively on May 8th at 7 pm. at the prestigious Museum of Moving Image 35th Avenue at 37th Street in Astoria, NY.
The Festival opens with a masterpiece of Polish cinema, "Ziemia Obiecana" (Promised Land, 1974) by Andrzej Wajda. Nominated for the Oscar, it features an array of Polish stars such as Daniel Olbrychski, Wojciech Pszoniak, Andrzej Seweryn, Bozena Dykiel, and Kalina Jedrusik. This Director's Cut of the film was not shown in the USA. Please join us for its premiere presentation.
In Praise of "Promised Land"
by Annette Insdorf
"Promised Land" is one of Andrzej Wajda's masterpieces. It exists in a few different formats, and the NYPFF is showing the director's cut of 2000 (whose running time is 138 minutes) with digitally remastered sound. He directed "Promised Land" in 1974, based on "Ziemia Obiecana," a famous novel by the Nobel-prize winner Wladislaw Reymont. Written in 1898, it is considered the Polish "Gone With The Wind," a historical epic that explores the city of Lodz in its industrial transformation and evolution of political consciousness. Wajda's heightened visual lyricism is achieved through expressive camera angle, movement, and color (such as the pulsation of red throughout the film). The soundtrack (incoroporating machines) is also noteworthy. The lyrical score by Wojciech Kilar is another striking narrative element.
The focus is on three friends who represent the tensions among groups at the time: one is Polish (Daniel Olbrychski), one Jewish (Wojciech Pszoniak), and one German (Andrzez Seweryn). This assumes special significance more than a century after the novel's completion, for Lodz had approximately a quarter of a million Jewish inhabitants before World War II. By 1945, only 877 Jews had survived.
Wajda's alterations minimize the novel's anti-Semitic elements. The collective protagonist of his "Promised Land" consists of three friends, all of whom are exaggerated into grotesque shapes. He depicts the central Jewish character, Moritz, as no worse - and perhaps better - than the Polish Karl or the German Max. Moreover, Wajda's other films have demonstrated a marked philosemitism, from "Samson" (1961), his portrait of a Jew who escapes from the Warsaw Ghetto, to "Korczak" (1990), a magnificent hommage to the life of the Polish-Jewish educator and martyr Janusz Korczak (also starring Pszoniak).
This version is about half an hour shorter than the 1974 release. While it omits certain scenes from the original, it adds a few from the television mini-series that aired in May of 1978 (consisting of four parts and running 25 minutes longer than the theatrical version). In any of its incarnations, "Promised Land" is a cinematic feast.
-- Annette Insdorf, Director of Undergraduate Film Studies at Columbia University, is the author of "Double Lives, Second Chances: The Cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski," which will soon be reissued by Northwestern University Press.
Films invited and selected for The 9th Annual New York Polish Film Festival | May 8-12, 2013
Films invited and selected for the 9th Annual New York Polish Film Festival | May 8-12, 2013.
NYPFF has the right to make changes to the final submissions.
NEW YORK POLISH FILM FESTIVAL NEWS
NYPFF poster created by Andrzej Pągowski
OPENING NIGHT CELEBRATION
THE NEW YORK POLISH FILM FESTIVAL presents its 9th Annual showcase of Poland's most acclaimed and awarded films May 8-12, 2013. The NYPFF is the largest film festival on the East Coast, promoting and presenting Polish films to the Polish and American public in the New York City metro area.
This year NYPFF will hold its Opening Night GALA at the prestigious Museum of the Moving Image on Wednesday, May 8th at 7PM in Astoria, NY. Film screenings will continue through Sunday, May 12th at theaters in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. To date, NYPFF has shown over one hundred and sixty Polish features, shorts and documentaries, widely viewed by Polish and American audiences.