Polish Films in the Netherlands
Feature films Dekalog 89+ vol. 1 (Decalogue 89+ Vol. 1) and Dekalog 89+ vol. 2 (Decalogue 89+ Vol. 2), Animowana historia Polski (Animated History of Poland) by Tomasz Bagiński, as well as Trick by Jan Hryniak and Rewers (Reverse) by Borys Lankosz screened at the jubilee Polish film weekend in the Hague, organized under the patronage of the Polish Scene in the Netherlands – Pools Podium Association, and in co-operation with the Embassy of Poland in the Netherlands.
Pools Podium (www.poolspodium.org) has been promoting Polish culture in the Netherlands since 1992. The organization places special emphasis on Polish cinema, with two series of screenings happening every year: “Cinema Polska” and “Poolse Filmlente – the Polish Film Spring”.
Among films chosen for the anniversary edition of “Cinema Polska 15 Years”, held in late November, were features from the Decalogue 89+ series. The event was attended by Rafał Samusik, who wrote and directed “Real” (one of the segments of Decalogue 89+ Vol. 1), and Bartosz Paduch, writer and director of “Za burtą” (one of the segments of Decalogue 89+ Vol. 2). In the words of the head of Polish Scene Pools Podium, Zofia Schroten-Czerniejewicz: “Decalogue 89+ meets all necessary criteria to gain acclaim in the Western European market, especially in the Netherlands, where Krzysztof Kieślowski’s original Decalogue continues to impress”. She adds that “Kieślowski paved the way for young Polish filmmakers who try to tackle difficult subjects and who have something important to share with the contemporary audience. Decalogue 89+ is an intelligent and well-made cinematic work; its creators fully deserve to be called the young heirs to Kieślowski’s work.”
The screenings were held in the Hague’s arthouse cinema Filmhuis Den Haag. The Polish weekend in the Hague attracted a large audience; screening rooms were filled to capacity.
After the screenings, audiences engaged in discussion with the young filmmakers. “The general opinion showed that in Decalogue 89+ we managed do find an interesting way of portraying the struggle of people today with values set over two thousand years ago,” said Rafał Samusik. He added: “Decalogue 89+ is the voice of a young generation of Poles that speaks out on the issue of debate over the relevance and strength of moral values. We are glad to see that this voice is credible for foreign audiences, too.”
The Q&A sessions were moderated by Benjamin Gijzel, who translated Kieślowski’s Decalogue into Dutch and is an expert on the works of Kieślowski. He praised the efforts of the young filmmakers and together with Pools Podium expressed his willingness to cooperate on organizing future screenings of Decalogue 89+ in the Netherlands.
Decalogue 89+ (www.dekalog89plus.pl) is one of the key projects of the Gdynia-based Harpoon Films production company. Decalogue 89+ is currently screening in cinemas as part of Poland’s “Prometeusz” Film Education Programme (www.filmyprometeusz.pl). The Decalogue 89+ series will also be broadcast by TVP Kultura during the Christmas season.
Translated by Karolina Kołtun