The long and distinguished history of Polish motion-picture production was featured last night with the Special Screening of Kanal
(1956) by Andrzej Wajda. Today, the Tous les
Cinemas du Monde program will bring us up to date on what's being produced today. The purpose of this section of the Cannes Festival is to give exposure to the broad spectrum of film production
all over the world, with a country-by-country approach. In formerly Socialist Poland, the transition from state-funded and controlled filmmaking to the much less structured context of the free
market pulled the rug out from under filmmakers, but now the industry has gotten its footing and Polish theatres are crowded with moviegoers. However, director Andrzej Zulawski warns, the Polish
film industry "is not yet a volcanic eruption. (...) It should be likened more to the movement of young, tender, and lively earthworms. They owe nothing to anyone, and sometimes have a
terrible time making their way to the surface and breaking through. But when they succeed, they do it with pizzazz."
Today's lineup is testimony to that fact: Palimpsest
Konrad Niewolski, Co Stonko Widzialo
(What the Sun has Seen) by Michal Rosa and Chaos
, the first feature-length film by Xawery Zulawski, son of Andrzej Zulawski.
Photo copyright Julia Brechler