It’s a great time for Polish cinema, and at this year’s BFI London Film Festival it was Pawel Pawlikowski’s IDA that triumphantly took the award for Best Film, beating some incredibly tough competition.
At Clapham we will be hosting four feature films that demonstrate the diversity of contemporary Polish cinema. Kicking off the festival is Małgorzata Szumowska’s powerful and daring drama IN THE NAME OF. From the Polish arm of Lars Von Trier’s Zentropa Entertainments, the film revolves around a priest who struggles to suppress his sexuality while working at a centre for delinquent young men.
IN THE BEDROOM tells the story of Edyta, a penniless middle-aged woman who begins to date men she meets on the Internet. Using sleeping pills, she drugs them in order to spend time in their homes, where she can wash, eat and sleep. It’s a well-crafted, compelling character study that covers sex, lies and loneliness, with a hugely impressive central performance from Katarzyna Herman.
The epic World War II drama SIBERIAN EXILE tells the story of a group of Poles, Ukrainians and Jews who are deported to Russia, focusing on the perspective of a young boy who is forced to grow up quickly in the struggle to survive.
BABY BLUES follows the rebellious 17-year-old Natalia, juggling youthful desires with adult responsibilities after having a child. It’s an exhilarating ride through a garishly coloured world of clothes, sex and drugs, and a satirical look at Poland’s fledgling capitalism.
As well as these four great films, we will also be hosting an exhibition of the work of renowned poster artist Franciszek Starowieyski. For a number of years he divided his time between his workshops in Warsaw and Paris, making some 300 posters, earning a name as one of the finest representatives of the Polish school of posters, and winning many awards in the process. His visually arresting and often surreal pieces are characterised by a strong fascination with Rubenesque renderings of the female nude, sensuality, and the meaning of life and death. The exhibition is up now in our bar, and will continue till the end of November.
Throughout the festival the bar will be selling vodka, beer and cocktails from Poland. So come and join us in a celebration of Polish culture. Zapraszamy!