23.02.2023 - 2.03.2023 Events, Film

BAM Kino Polska 2023

February 23-March 2, 2023
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

TICKETS

Co-curated by Tomek Smolarski and Jesse Trussell

Discover the best in recent Polish cinema with this biannual festival showcasing innovative, boundary-pushing new works. Presented in partnership with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), this lineup includes a laugh-out-loud comedy, crime dramas based on real events, a donkey on a road trip, and three Polish/Ukrainian co-productions—The Hamlet SyndromeRhino, and Dad—in a day of Polish-Ukrainian solidarity.

Program

Fri, Feb 24, 2023 at 9:30pm ET
The Silent Twins (2022) by dir. Agnieszka Smoczynska

Agnieszka Smoczynska’s English-language debut tells the story of June and Jennifer Gibbons—two twins of Caribbean descent born in the 60s who grew up mostly in Wales. Ostracized at a young age, the women turned inwards and only spoke to each other. Based on a true story, this award-winning drama follows their unique bond as they mature, voraciously write, dabble in criminal activities, and ultimately end up institutionalized for over a decade. Smoczynska’s visual masterpiece highlights powerful performances from Tamara Lawrance and Black Panther’s Letitia Wright.

“a story about a single artistic soul cleaved in two”—Independent

Fri, Feb 24, 2023 at 7pm ET
EO (2022) by dir. Jerzy Skolimowski

Winning the Cannes Jury Prize and NY Film Circle Critics Award, Jerzy Skolimowski’s first feature in seven years is a touching hero’s journey that follows the life of EO, a donkey. As he journeys from a circus in Poland through streets, valleys, and streams to Italy, the intimacy of the camera-work shows a world of pain, love, loss, and the brutality of humans. Paying homage to Robert Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar, yet wholly its own, the latest from the 84-year-old Polish filmmaking legend masterfully shows a cruel world through a lovable main character.

“no movie that I’ve seen this year has moved me as deeply, made me feel as optimistic about cinema or engaged me with such intellectual vigor”—The New York Times

Sat, Feb 25, 2023 at 2pm ET
Bread and Salt (2022) by dir. Damian Kocur

Damian Kocur’s acclaimed debut feature revolves around a talented pianist (Tymoteusz Bies, playing himself) who is home on break from Warsaw University of Music. As he reconnects with his brother (played by his real brother Jacek) and his old gang, the isolation of a town stuck in time weighs on him. When two refugees open a kebab place and it becomes the new hangout, tensions rise—mirroring race relations in present-day Poland. Based on real events from 2017 and starring all non-professional actors, the film pulses with Bies’ talented piano playing.

“builds like a volcano preparing to erupt”—Screen Daily

Sat, Feb 25, 2023 at 4:30pm ET
Fucking Bornholm (2022) by dir. Anna Kazejak

Two families head to a Danish island in the Baltic Sea for a camping trip in this award-winning drama from Anna Kazejak, based on the audiobook of the same name. As the adults attempt to bond—and one of the dads brings a new younger girlfriend—things start to go wrong quickly. After an incident occurs between their children, the adults further combust, taking any shreds of friendship with them.

“a wickedly funny dark comedy not afraid to ruffle some feathers”—RogerEbert.com
“an emphatic scream into the patriarchal void”—Variety

Sat, Feb 25, 2023 at 7pm ET
Woman on the Roof (2022) by dir. Anna Jadowska

Based on a real story, Anna Jadowska’s exquisite drama is told in flashbacks revolving around Mira (Pomykala), a sixty-something woman that does laundry, buys fish food, and robs a bank one day with a kitchen knife. As the story unfolds—including the fact that the bank teller doesn’t believe her—Mira’s loveless marriage and mental state are laid bare. An emotional examination of the loneliness of depression, Pomykala’s performance is consuming, earning her Best Performance at the Tribeca Film Festival.

“a stark and compelling examination of twilight-year malaise”—CineEuropa

Sat, Feb 25, 2023 at 9:30pm ET
Silent Land (2021) by dir. Aga Woszczynska

A seemingly perfect—yet mysterious—couple visits a villa on an Italian Island in Aga Woszczynska’s award-winning exploration of wealth, class, and privilege. They find that their pool is empty and insist that it be filled immediately, ignoring drought advice. When the migrant worker sent to fill the pool dies and the police appear to interview the couple, their social status takes center stage. A beautifully filmed and powerfully wrought first feature, Woszczynska cements herself as a director to watch.

“plunges toward a moral implosion”—Salon

Sun, Feb 26, 2023 at 4:30pm ET
The Hamlet Syndrome (2022) by dirs. Elwira Niewiera & Piotr Rosolowski

Several months before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, five theatermakers assembled to create their own experimental Hamlet and document the process. Featuring breathtaking personal stories from artists—including three that fought on the frontlines—this award-winning documentary gives voice to the people striving to create art in war-torn regions while confronting decades of trauma.

This screening is part of this year’s special spotlight on Ukrainian-Polish co-productions.

Sun, Feb 26, 2023 at 9:30pm ET
Rhino (2021) by dir. Oleh Sentsov

Starting out as an aggressive delinquent, a young man nicknamed “Rhino” quickly works his way up the criminal hierarchy in 90s Ukraine. Rhino has only known power and cruelty, but with nothing left to lose, can he finally find a chance at redemption? For Ukrainian director Oleh Sentsov—who was born in Crimea, became an activist following the Russian annexation of the region, and was imprisoned in Russia on terrorism charges—Rhino underscores the ongoing legacy of violence and corruption created by the collapse of the Soviet Union.

This screening is part of this year’s special spotlight on Ukrainian-Polish co-productions.

Sun, Feb 26, 2023 at 7pm ET
Dad (2022) by dir. Anna Maliszewska

A single father and truck driver, Michal leaves his daughter Miska with their Ukrainian neighbors—whose daughter Lenka is Miska’s best friend—for the many long hours he’s away on the road. When the family’s nanny suddenly dies, Michal takes the girls on a trip to meet Lenka’s Ukrainian family. The journey sets the idealized memories of childhood against the struggles of today’s tumultuous Europe, catalyzing a coming-of-age for the girls and a wake-up call for Michal.

This screening is part of this year’s special spotlight on Ukrainian-Polish co-productions.

Sun, Feb 26, 2023 at 2pm ET
Back Then (2021) by dir. Kinga Debska

This laugh-out-loud family comedy invites audiences behind the iron curtain to the People’s Republic of Poland in the 80s, inspired by the director’s own life. Marta and her sister Kasia are raised on their grandmother’s stories of the Warsaw Uprising instead of fairy tales, while their parents struggle to balance their economic reality, ideological beliefs, and dreams of a different life—dreams embodied by the unexpected appearance of an orange Fiat…

Mon, Feb 27, 2023 at 7pm ET
Shreds (2022) by dir. Beata Dzianowicz

Writer and director Beata Dzianowicz won the Warsaw International Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for the script to this family drama, which follows a charismatic professor grappling with the sudden onset of Alzheimer’s. Taking us through the dramatic changes that come with each new season, Dzianowicz flushes out his multi-generational portrait of the impact of disease with touches of humor and shifting subjectivity.

Tue, Feb 28, 2023 at 7pm ET
Illusion (2022) by dir. Marta Minorowicz

Months after her daughter’s disappearance, a woman takes matters into her own hands to find out what happened. As her search for strays farther and farther from reality, Illusion captures one woman’s resilience and path toward harmony in the face of a tragedy that’s impossible to accept.

“a wickedly funny dark comedy not afraid to ruffle some feathers”—RogerEbert.com
“an emphatic scream into the patriarchal void”—Variety

Wed, Mar 1, 2023 at 9:30pm ET
Backwards (2022) by dir. Jacek Lusinski

Inspired by real events, this poignant drama follows a young mother and her son, who has autism. Backwards captures their ongoing struggles against bureaucracy, cruelty, and indifference—struggles that ultimately led to meaningful changes in Poland’s education system.

Wed, Mar 1, 2023 at 7pm ET
Roving Woman (2022) by dir. Michal Chmielewski

Backed by executive producer Wim Wenders, Michal Chmielewski’s feature debut is a delicate tale of geographic and emotional odyssey. Following an unexpected breakup, Sara impulsively takes to the road in a stolen car, letting aimlessness and serendipity guide her through unexpected encounters and her growing fascination with the car’s owner.

“a wickedly funny dark comedy not afraid to ruffle some feathers”—RogerEbert.com
“an emphatic scream into the patriarchal void”—Variety

Thur, Mar 2, 2023 at 7pm ET
All Our Fears (2021) by dirs. Lukasz Gutt & Lukasz Ronduda

Winner of the Golden Lion for the best film of 2021 at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, this subtle, moving drama draws inspiration from the life and work of visual artist and activist Rycharski. At once deeply committed to his rural town and church—but never fully accepted because he’s gay—Daniel struggles to transform his community in the aftermath of a friend’s suicide.

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