Polish Films in Venice

Carnage, My Name Is Ki, The Land of Oblivion
Carnage, My Name Is Ki, The Land of Oblivion


The 68th edition of the Venice International Film Festival launched on August 31. This year’s lineup features three films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Screening in Main Competition and competing for the Golden Lion will be the latest film from Roman Polanski, Carnage. Ki (My Name Is Ki) by Leszek Dawid and Znieważona ziemia (The Land of Oblivion) by Michale Boganim will screen out of competition in Venice Days and the International Film Critics’ Week respectively.


The latest production by Roman Polański, lensed by Paweł Edelman, is a film version of “God of Carnage”, a play by Yasmina Reza. The film stars Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, and Jodie Foster. Carnage, co-produced by SPI International Polska, tells the story of two married couples who get together to discuss a fight between their children. What starts out as a civilized conversation soon turns into a war of words that strays far from the initial topic.


Ki (My Name Is Ki), the feature debut from Leszek Dawid, will screen in Venice Days. The film previously screened at this year’s Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, where Roma Gąsiorowska received the award for Best Leading Actress for her performance as Ki.


My Name is Ki is a portrait film. The lead character, not wanting to follow in her mother’s footsteps, tries to run from the stereotype of a lonely and tired single mother. She tries to lead a colourful, fast and intense life. Ki meets Miko. They form a difficult relationship that helps Ki grow into love and responsibility for herself and for her son. The organizers of Venice Days describe My Name is Ki as “a unique portrait of a woman, almost symbolic of this year’s edition of the festival.”


Venice Days is a section of the Venice IFF that focuses on independent cinema and runs parallel to the main selection of the event. Twelve films are selected each year. This year a record eight films are produced or co-produced by France. Venice Days is a non-competitive section. The films compete for the Europa Cinemas recognition that enables support for distribution. Films by first-time directors are eligible for the Lion of the Future – the Luigi De Laurentiis Award. The winner receives 100,000 euros.


Another film screening in Venice is Znieważona ziemia (La terre outragée/ The Land of Oblivion), directed by Michale Boganim. This co-production between France, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine features Andrzej Chyra in one of the lead parts, while the score was composed by Leszek Możdżer. The film’s Polish co-producer is Apple Film Production. The Land of Oblivion is one of nine films screening in the out of competition International Film Critics’ Week at Venice. As a debut film, it is also a candidate for the Lion of the Future award.


The Land of Oblivion is the story of a few people whose lives were ruined by the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The festival organizers describe the film as a “top class debut”.


All three films presented at the 68th edition of the Venice International Film Festival were co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.


At last year’s Venice event, Essential Killing by Jerzy Skolimowski received two awards. Skolimowski received a Special Jury Prize, while lead actor Vincent Gallo received the Coppa Volpi award for Best Actor.


This year’s 68th Venice International Film Festival runs from August 31 through September 10.


Further details about Venice Days available at: www.venice-days.com.


Further details about the International Film Critic”s Week available at: www.sicvenezia.it.  


Further details about the Venice International Film Festival available at: www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/festival.


Translated by Karolina Kołtun