30.04.2021 - 6.05.2021 Events, Film

BAM Kino Polska

April 30 – May 6, 2021

Streaming at BAM

Co-organized by Polish Cultural Institute New York and co-programmed by Tomek Smolarski

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York presents Kino Polska: New Polish Cinema, bringing together the best new works from Poland’s boundary-pushing filmmakers. The series,  starting on Friday, April 30 through Thursday, May 6, features seven films, including the New York premiere of the Venice Film Festival hit Never Gonna Snow Again (2020). Director Malgorzata Szumowska (whose Berlinale prizewinner Mug screened in the 2018 iteration of Kino Polska) partners with longtime cinematographer and co-writer Michal Englert’s for this Venice Film Festival hit about an enigmatic healer who casts a spell over a rich Polish community (“Stranger Things” actor Alec Utgoff in the lead role). 

This year’s series also includes Mariko Bobrik’s touching debut feature The Taste of Pho (2019) about a Vietnamese father and daughter dealing with grief and the immigrant experience in Warsaw; the bittersweet coming-of-age drama I Never Cry (2020) from Piotr Domalewski whose previous film Silent Night won major awards in Poland; Bartosz Kruhlik’s edge-of-your-seat thriller Supernova (2019); Piotr Adamski’s Eastern (2019), a tale of revenge set in a dystopic Poland; Mariusz Wilczynski’s unconventional and deeply personal hand-drawn  animated film Kill It and Leave This Town (2020); and Agnieszka Holland’s Soviet Union thriller Mr. Jones (2019) starring James Norton, Vanessa Kirby, and Peter Sarsgaard.

All films will screen April 30—May 6 via BAM’s virtual stream platform at BAM.org.

Never Gonna Snow Again (2020). Dir. Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert

Never Gonna Snow Again (2020). Dir. Malgorzata Szumowska and Michal Englert (NY Premiere)
One grey, foggy morning in a large, Eastern European city, a mysterious person appears – a man carrying a bed. The visitor uses magical, hypnotic techniques to get a residence permit and starts working as a masseur in a suburban housing estate. The bland, gated community, built for the rich in the middle of what used to be a cabbage field, is walled off from the ‘worse’ world around it. They seem to feel an inner sadness, a longing. The masseur, Zhenia, an attractive man enters their lives. He has a gift. His hands heal, his eyes penetrate the souls of the lonely women. Strong Polish cast, including Maja Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza, Weronika Rosati, Katarzyna Figura, Andrzej Chyra, and Łukasz Simlat.

Mr. Jones (2019), dir. Agnieszka Holland

Mr. Jones (2019), dir. Agnieszka Holland
Agnieszka Holland’s thriller, set on the eve of world WWII, sees Hitler’s rise to power and Stalin’s Soviet propaganda machine pushing their “utopia” to the Western world. Meanwhile an ambitious young journalist, Gareth Jones (Norton) travels to Moscow to uncover the truth behind the propaganda, but then gets a tip that could expose an international conspiracy, one that could cost him and his informant their lives. Jones goes on a life-or-death journey to uncover the truth behind the façade that would later inspire George Orwell’s seminal book Animal Farm.

Kill It and Leave This Town (2020), dir. Mariusz Wilczynski

Kill It and Leave This Town (2020), dir. Mariusz Wilczynski
Polish artist Mariusz Wilczyński has been making visually striking, deeply personal short animations, as well as unique live animation performances, for twenty years, a body of work that has won him widespread acclaim in Poland and tributes at institutions around the world, including MoMA, the National Gallery in London, and many others. Fifteen years in the making, Kill It And Leave This Town is Wilczyński’s first feature-length film. The winner of the Jury Distinction Award at Annecy International Film Festival, the Grand Prize for Feature Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival, and a FIPRESCI Award at the 2020 Viennale, it is a hauntingly surreal meditation on aging, mortality, and loss. Adopting an intentionally threadbare visual style that makes visible the traces of its own creation, Wilczyński transmutes heavily autobiographical elements into a radically shape-shifting form in which outer reality and inner consciousness collapse into each other, and in which the laws of time, space, and identity are constantly in flux.

I Never Cry (2020), dir. Piotr Domalewski

I Never Cry (2020), dir. Piotr Domalewski (NY Premiere)
Ola, a seventeen-year-old from a small city in Poland, sets off to a Ireland on her own. It will turn out to be the trip of her lifetime, a trip into the unknown, on which she will try to reconnect with her estranged father. In Ireland, she will come to know a different world and meet people who will change her approach to life. This is Domalewski’s second feature film. His feature film debut Silent Night (2017) won the Grand Prix in Gdynia and Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay as well as the Discovery of the Year Award at Polish Film Awards. 

A Taste of Pho (2019), dir. Mariko Bobrik

A Taste of Pho (2019), dir. Mariko Bobrik (NY Premiere)
A Warsaw-based Vietnamese cook struggles to fit into the European culture, which his ten-year-old daughter has already embraced as her own. A story about love, misunderstanding and food. Mariko Bobrik, the film director, was born in Japan in 1983. In 2009, she graduated the directing course at the Polish National Film School in Lodz. Currently she lives in Warsaw.

Eastern (2019), dir. Piotr Adamski

Eastern (2019), dir. Piotr Adamski (NY Premiere)
Behind the fences of a gated community, a singular game is being played out. The residents’ lives are regulated by an inexorable, patriarchal code. For years, the Nowak and Kowalski families have been embroiled in a vendetta governed by the cyclical law of blood and honour. When the Nowaks’ son dies at the hand of Klara Kowalska, his nineteen-year-old sister is chosen by their father to revenge his death. Pressured by her family and the community of residents, she starts to hunt Klara. When the confrontation occurs, Ewa is faced with a choice between carrying out revenge in the name of honour on the one hand and her own life and freedom on the other.

Supernova (2019) dir. Bartosz Kruhlik

Supernova (2019) dir. Bartosz Kruhlik (NY Premiere)
Supernova centres on three men, one place and a single event that will change the life of each of them. Told in a realist style, this is a universal story about a few hours from the life of a village community. It offers an observation of the condition of a person in a critical situation and poses a question about the fundamental nature of coincidence and destiny. A vibrant story oscillating between drama, thriller and disaster film.

All films will screen April 30—May 6 via BAM’s virtual stream platform at BAM.org.


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