I highly recommend Wojtek Smarzowski’s new and controversial film Wesele (Wedding), strong and poetic at the same time, opened in October in Polish cinemas. We saw it in Kino Atlantic in Warsaw. It is a double story, one happening now in a small village; the daughter of a pig farmer and entrepreneur is getting married. A second story, seen through the eyes of the grandfather, takes as back to the World War II and just before, when he was in love with a young jewish girl from the same village. It is inspired by a gruesome, but how important, recollection of Jedwabne tragedy. It is Smarzowski’s story about Polish demons past and present, xenophobia, parochialism, fear of the other, questionable influence of the church and nationalism. Not to be missed and hope it will come to the UK.
The Last Family DVD was sitting on my bookshelf since my last visit to Warsaw. I have never liked Beksinski’s paintings, but was keen to see the film about him and his family; he was a well-known painter with quite a macabre style.
Directed in 2016 by Jan P. Matuszyński, it is a portrayal of a successful artist’s life in Warsaw before all the changes. Tomek moved from Sanok, a small town, into a high rise block on the same housing estate as his parents, who lived there with both grandmothers. He is quite depressive and disruptive individual. Fluent in English, he is passionate about the new British music and develops his own late night radio programme, to which my brother listened in the 1970’s. His suicidal tendencies are a constant worry to his family.