Between 7th and 29th May 2019, the first Polish Film Festival in the history of Polish-Korean cultural relations will be held in Seoul. During the three weeks of the event, the audience will have a unique opportunity to see the works of the most outstanding artists of Polish cinema.
2019 marks the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Poland and Korea. The extensive Polish cultural programme celebrating this occasion will be opened by the first ever Polish Film Festival in Korea organised by Cinematheque Seoul Art Cinema in collaboration with the Polish Embassy in Seoul and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
The event will be a great treat for the Korean fans of Polish culture: for almost three weeks, the festival will feature screenings of several masterpieces of Polish cinema, including films by directors of the so-called Polish Film School – an informal group of Polish film artists active between 1956 and 1963. The audience will see, among others, films by Andrzej Munk, Tadeusz Konwicki, Wojciech Jerzy Has and Kazimierz Kutz. Their works were, in terms of aesthetics, clearly distinct from the works of socialist realist cinema and tackled themes related to the experiences of the generation afflicted by the Second World War.
The festival will also feature films directed by Andrzej Wajda shown in a special section entitled Hommage à Andrzej Wajda. The festival’s opening will see the screening of one of Wajda’s most iconic picture: Ashes and Diamonds. This outstanding work, set in the last days of WWII, whose protagonists are former Home Army soldiers, recreates the romantic myth of a Pole who wants to live in a free country at any cost, but has to die to become a hero.
Out of the dramatic situations in historical events, Wajda brings out equally dramatic yet timeless situations, brings shock and emotions from a pure state. In all certainty, you can recreate and explain the film Ashes and Diamonds from a historical perspective, but the idea of this film is different – the point is to present a certain lost and defeated lyricism. (Etudes cinematographiques by Philippe Parrain, 1968)
The festival programme also includes contemporary productions by renowned Polish directors, such as Małgorzata Szumowska, Agnieszka Holland and Paweł Pawlikowski. The special guest of the festival will be Joanna Kos-Krauze – the director of the film Birds Are Singing in Kigali and co-director of Papusza, both of which will be shown during the event. Film screenings will be accompanied by lectures on Andrzej Wajda and his work as well as other artists of the Polish Film School delivered by film historian and critic Paweł Jasina.
Source: own materials, originally written in Polish by EC, translated by AW, 15 Apr 2019