Polish Cinema Classics UK Acclaim

The Polish Cinema Classics Vol. II DVD collection, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, has been very well received in the United Kingdom.

DVD Collection Supported by the Polish Film Institute

The DVD collection of Polish Cinema Classics Vol. II was released in the United Kingdom on March 25, 2013, featuring three digitally-restored classic Polish films: Ucieczka z kina Wolność (Escape from the ‘Liberty’ Cinema) by Wojciech Marczewski, Ziemia obiecana (The Promised Land) by Andrzej Wajda, and Iluminacja (Illumination) by Krzysztof Zanussi. This DVD collection was published by the Polish Cultural Institute in London and the Second Run DVD company, with support from the Polish Film Institute.

Positive Reviews in British Press

The Polish Cinema Classics Vol. II collection has enjoyed good reception by the media in the United Kingdom. “This excellent box set contains a first-rate film from each of the three postwar generations of Polish directors,” writes Philip French for the Sunday Observer. French focuses on Ziemia obiecana (The Promised Land): “Magnificently staged and never previously released in Britain, it centres on three friends.” French also makes a note about Krzysztof Zanussi’s film: “Illumination […], directed by […] Krzysztof Zanussi, is a dazzling, cinematic Bildungsroman about a gifted young physicist, his intellectual and spiritual development, his marriage, fatherhood and intimations of mortality.”

Inspiring Collection of Films

Ben Nicholson of Cine-vue writes about the Polish Cinema Classics Vol. II as follows: “A truly inspiring set of films, this will make an excellent addition to the shelf of any true cinema fan. These are three definite classics from Polish masters and each will leave you speechless for entirely different reasons. […] The most esoteric of the three features is Krzysztof Zanussi’s Illumination. […] This kaleidoscopic film eschews convention […] and seeks to explore the relationship of art and science […]. Not a film for those in search of straight-forward linear narrative, the film will happily jump away from its protagonist at any moment to discuss morality or to a Wes Anderson-esque frame of a vaguely relevant object or chart.”

“Visually Startling Films”

A review on the Mondo Digital website states: “these are wildly inventive, visually startling, and often outright surreal films […].” According to the reviewer, Ucieczka z kina Wolność (Escape from ‘Liberty Cinema’) is “a very clever absurdist comedy that can be enjoyed either with or without its sharp social and political commentary […]. Iluminacja (Illumination) “looks fantastic with a new HD-sourced restored transfer. There’s really nothing to complain about here at all; the crisp, clean visuals look great, and the mono audio is also impressive with another diverse score by Kilar.”

“An Unmissable Box Set”

According to the London Evening Standard, Polish Cinema Classics Vol. II is “an unmissable box set.” And as Clydefro Jones writes in his review of the box set for Digital Fix, “each film was recently given a sparkling restoration in its native Poland and, as such, looks exceptionally good here. […] these three editions […] offer a sublime contrast to the previous set’s contents while still serving to help shade in the overall cinematic portrait of a country not necessarily well-represented on disc in the English-speaking world.”


A review for The Arts Shelf states that “the opportunity to own three superb works from three of Poland’s finest filmmakers, in new, fully restored, director-approved HD masters (and available for the first time ever in the UK), makes this another highly recommended, must-have release from Second Run.”


More reviews of the Polish Cinema Classics Vol. II box set are available at the following websites: Id Film, Movie Mail, DVD Beaver.


Written by Paulina Bez based on the press release


Translated by Karolina Kołtun