Film Series: Runs & Limited Engagements



2016, Andrzej Wajda, Poland, 98 min. With Bogusław Linda, Bronisława Zamachowska.

Show Times

  • Fri, May 26th 6:00pm
  • Sat, May 27th 3:15pm
  • Sun, May 28th 8:00pm
  • Mon, May 29th 5:15pm
  • Tue, May 30th 8:00pm
  • Wed, May 31st 6:00pm
  • Thu, Jun 1st 8:15pm
First Chicago run!

"A compelling portrait." — Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter

"A fitting end note to Wajda's career...The film stands as an imposing monument to the memory of a great artist." — Dan Fainaru, Screen Daily

The last film of Poland's greatest director is a deeply personal work, filmed with an old master's economy and precision, in which one embattled artist pays tribute to another. The subject is Władysław Strzemiński (Linda), a painter who was a leading figure in the growth of modern art in Poland. The film concentrates on Strzemiński's last years, beginning in 1949, when the red shadow of Stalinism was engulfing Poland. Stubbornly refusing to toe the Socialist Realism party line, the artist is systemically persecuted — his teaching job terminated, his paintings removed and destroyed, his union card rescinded so that he can't even buy paints. Though a martyr, Strzemiński is no saint. The film presents him with admiration but not sentimentality, most pointedly through his relationship with his neglected teenage daughter, who suffers stoically for her father's ideological sins. The political repression that victimized Strzemiński is far from extinct, either in Poland (where the right-wing Law and Justice Party is now in power) or the rest of the world. As Wajda said in one of his last interviews, "Perhaps now is precisely the time to remind ourselves what those times were like." In Polish with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. (MR)

Play Trailer