Dublin’s Kinopolis Polish Film Festival, which first launched back in 2006, has spent years promoting and celebrating Polish cinema in Ireland. The festival aims to spotlight the lives and culture of one of the largest minorities living on the island – through their films. The festival will be returning to the Irish Film Institute from December 7th – 10th, and the full programme for the festival has been announced now.
Kinopolis is organised by the Pomeranian Film Foundation in Gdynia, who are also responsible for the Polish Film Festival in Poland itself. At this year’s Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, seven of the seventeen films screened were either directed or co-directed by women, and the festival organisers have arranged for an ever greater ratio in programming the 2017 edition of Kinopolis. Four of the festival’s six films carry the IFI’s F-rating, with directors ranging from the pop singer turned filmmaker Maria Sadowska, to the Oscar-nominated veteran Agnieszka Holland. The festival’s intriguing programme covers a wide range of politically-relevant topics, from immigration and integration to the rise of nationalism in Poland. Polish animation will also be on show, as part of the festival’s shorts programme.
Check out the full programme for the festival below.
Spoor dir. Agnieszka Holland, Thurs 7 Dec, 6.20 pm
Duszejko (Agnieszka Mandat) is a staunch advocate for animal rights in a rural area where hunting is a way of life. When the bodies of local hunters are found in mysterious circumstances, Duszejko begins her own investigation, convinced that the police are entirely wrong in their assumptions.
Beyond Words, Dir. Urszula Antoniak, Fri 8 Dec, 6.30pm
In Beyond Words, the Polish-born, Berlin-based lawyer Michael (Jakub Gierszał) has fully assimilated into German society. Although he hasn’t fully disavowed his Polish heritage, it is something from which he keeps his distance. The sudden reappearance of the father he thought was dead forces him to re-engage with the past he thought he had left behind.
The Man with the Magic Box, Dir. Bodo Kox, Fri 8 Dec, 8.30pm
An eccentric sci-fi thriller from director Bodo Cox (The Girl From The Wardrobe), The Man With The Magic Box is set in a dystopian Warsaw of 2030. Adam (Piotr Polak) is an office cleaner with no memory of his former life. When he uncovers a radio that broadcasts old programmes from the 1950s and that makes time travel possible, his neighbour Goria (Olga Bołądź), with whom he has slowly developed a relationship, must set out to find him after he suddenly disappears.
Birds are Singing in Kigali, Dir. Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze, Sat 9 Dec, 3.30pm
Lead actresses Jowita Budnik (Anna) and Eliane Umuhire (Claudine) excel as the Polish ornithologist working in Rwanda and the native daughter of a murdered colleague smuggled out of the country at the time of the genocide against the Tutsi. Safely in Poland, the two struggle with bureaucracy and the effects of the atrocities they witnessed. Budnik and Umuhire shared the Best Actress prize at the Gydnia Film Festival for this compassionate and poignant film. Birds Are Singing In Kigali was to be a colloborative effort between Krzysztof Krauze and his wife Joanna Kos-Krauze, until his untimely death from cancer during filming forced Kos-Krauze to complete the work alone.
Be Prepared, Dir. Robert Glyński, Sat 9 Dec, 6pm
A group of Polish boy scouts take part in summer camp, learning nature skills and the value of co-operation. When a group of underprivileged Ukranian children join the group, they bring discord to the camp. Matters escalate further with the discovery of the body of one of the scouts. This psychological thriller acts a brilliant allegory for the ever-present danger of nationalism.
Kinopolis Animation Programme, Sun 10 Dec, 12pm
9 shorts by various directors showcase a variety of animation styles. Ecological issues, masturbation, overprotective mothers and more are explored in these short animated films.
The Art of Loving: The Story of Michalina Wisłocka, Dir. Maria Sadowska, Sun 10 Dec, 8pm
Closing the 2017 Polish Film Festival, his film centres on the fascinating life of gynaecologist and sexologist Wisłocka, and is led by a strong performance by lead Magdalena Boczarska. Wisłocka came to public attention in the 1970s for her book The Art of Loving, a frank and accessible guide to sex and sexuality that endured a tortuous path to publication as she fought against the censorship of her material imposed by authorities.
Tickets are available for Kinopolis now. Individual tickets for the festival’s films cost €11 and a festival multi-pass, four festival films for €38, is available in person or by phone from the IFI Box Office on 01-6793477.