Masters from Poland
Polish Film School

13 February - 27 February 2014

On the occasion of the 600th anniversary of Poland-Turkey diplomatic relations, Pera Film in collaboration with the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Istanbul, presents a unique selection of seven films, from four exceptional Polish directors: Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Wojciech Has, Roman Polanski. The program Masters from Poland: Polish Film School explores works from late 1950s to early 1960s and the intense development of a remarkable cinema: the cinema of Poland.

Especially during the years 1956-1981, once the Communist regime had softened its ideological rigour, the Polish film industry succeeded in avoiding, for the most part, the propaganda demands of the authorities and standing on the side of the people. It was during this period that the two most important artistic currents in the history of Polish cinema developed - the "Polish School" of 1956-1961 and the "cinema of moral anxiety" of 1975-1981.

Polish cinema flourished out of the ruins left by the Second World War. Following the example of the USSR, Poland’s film industry was nationalized. The state-owned company, “Film Polski” operated in all of the different sectors of the film industry including production, distribution, cinemas and training. The socio-economic situation from 1945 onwards had the effect of giving filmmakers a very special status, similar to that accorded to writers, poets and painters. This happened well before the emergence of the notion of “auteur theory” that was championed by the founders of the New Wave in France.

The term Polish Film School was coined in 1954 by critic Aleksander Jackiewicz who; expressed a hope that there would emerge, a "Polish film school worthy of the great tradition of our art". Polish Film School refers to an informal group of Polish film directors and screenplay writers, which were under profound influence of the Italian neo-realists. The school took advantage of the liberal changes in Poland, depicting, the difficulty of Polish history during World War II and Nazi occupation. Among the most important topics was the generation of former Home Army soldiers and their role in post-war Poland and the national tragedies like the Nazi concentration camps and the Warsaw Uprising. The political changes allowed the group to speak more explicitly of the recent history of Poland.

The Polish film industry prospered for four decades and the years between 1955 and 1965 following the release of the first few films directed by Andrzej Wajda, Andrzej Munk, Jerzy Kawalerowicz and Wojciech Has, all of whom formed the Polish Film School became pivotal moments in the history of cinema. The Polish School not only explored the established topics and aesthetics, but also found their own unique forms, where the ideology and national connotations embraced experimental visual style, creating a cohesive unity, an aueturist cinematic expression.

Screenings can be seen with a discounted museum ticket (5 TL). No reservations taken. 

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