mon 18/10/2021

Poland

Marcin Wicha: Things I Didn’t Throw Out review - the stories told by stacks of stuff

Marcin Wicha’s mother Joanna never talked about her death. A Jewish counsellor based in an office built on top of the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto, her days were consumed by work and her passion for shopping. Only once did she refer to her passing,...

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The Champion of Auschwitz review - Polish movie based on a boxer's memoir

It’s a little hard to tell if this film was really intended for an international release, given that its heart is so set on making Polish movie-goers proud of their countrymen. The Champion of Auschwitz recounts the true story of Tadeusz "Teddy...

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Grosvenor, RSNO, Chan, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall online review - too big for the small screen

By chance, I started watching this streamed concert shortly after hearing a live BBC broadcast of the Philharmonia playing in front of an audience for the first time in over a year. Much though I love the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, steadfast...

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Album: Katy Carr - Providence

Back in 2013, the London-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist launched the first of a trilogy of albums exploring her Polish roots and family history, entwined around the history of Poland and Europe and the traumas of the Second World...

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The Painted Bird review - bestial horror conveyed with beauty

Based on a novel by Jerzy Kosinski, The Painted Bird is an extraordinarily powerful chronicle of a young Jewish boy’s survival in Eastern Europe, the scene of some of the most terrible violence, inhumanity, and depredation during the Second World...

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Anne Applebaum: Twilight of Democracy review - lost friends and new hope

Things fell apart; the Centre Right could not hold. Anne Applebaum knows it from the inside. A Reaganite with whom I imagine a civilized conversation would have been possible even in former times married to a Polish politician, now MEP, Radek...

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The Woods, Netflix review - missing-person mystery reveals a heart of darkness

After the success of the sci-fi crime drama 1983 (2018), another Polish original series has landed at Netflix. The Woods, directed by Leszek Dawid and Bartosz Konopka, is a six-part mystery thriller adapted from Harlan Coben’s novel, set in two main...

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Blu-ray: Cinema of Conflict: Four Films by Krzysztof Kieślowski

Early in The Scar (1976), the opening film in Arrow Academy’s Cinema of Conflict limited edition quartet, Stefan Bednarz (Franciszek Pieczka) requests a partial reshoot of what is to be his first interview as the newly appointed director of a large...

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Remembering Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)

No composer since Stravinsky has defined his age as comprehensively as Krzysztof Penderecki, who died on Sunday aged 86. Initially an uncompromising modernist, Penderecki was one of the composers who put Poland at the forefront of the musical avant-...

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Filmmaker Agnieszka Holland: 'Without journalism, democracy will not survive'

Agnieszka Holland is one of Europe's leading filmmakers. Growing up in Poland under Soviet rule, her films have often tackled the continent's complex history, including the Academy Award-nominated Europa, Europa, In Darkness and Angry Harvest. In...

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Tomasz Jedrowski: Swimming in the Dark review – of hypocrisy, both personal and systemic

Conjuring up nostalgia for a past readers never had is, perhaps, the litmus test for any good coming-of-age story. Writers have the hard task of making the general particular – because growing up, in one way or another, is universal whereas how and...

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theartsdesk in Warsaw: musical perspectives on culture beyond communism

The new "eufonie" festival is dedicated to the music of Poland and its neighbouring countries. This is its second year, and the scale of the project has increased substantially from last year’s first run. The programme is primarily classical music,...

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