Ekran 2019, Toronto’s 11th Annual Polish Film Festival

Ekran 2019, Toronto‘s 11th Annual Polish Film Festival, took place from November 5-10, 2019, at the Revue Cinema. It featured the best in contemporary Polish cinema with a wide variety of films including shorts, narrative features and documentaries shown.

The opening night film, Pilsudski (directed by Michael Rosa), tells the story of Józef Klemens Piłsudski, who was a Polish revolutionary and statesman who led the struggle for Polish Independence.

Some of the other films screened included: Corpus Christi (directed by Jan Komasa) where a young man leaves a juvenile detention centre only to be accepted as a new town’s priest. He becomes immersed in his role as the priest and in helping the community.

My Home India (directed by Anjali Bhushan) is a documentary about Polish refugees who survived Soviet Siberian camps and who were assisted by Kira Banasinska in making a home in India. Banasinska was the wife of the First Polish Counsel in Bombay, and her efforts lead to thousands of Poles being settled in India.

Warsaw: A City Divided (directed by Eric Bednarski) is a documentary showing the contrasts between the booming Warsaw of today and the near destruction of the city by the Nazis.

The Nixie (directed by Julia Bui Ngoc and Mai Bui Ngoc) is a beautifully filmed short based on an old Polish legend about a young man meeting a water nymph who has become a human. The young man falls in love with her immediately and pledges his loyalty to her. She decides to test him by reappearing in her water nymph form and seducing him. Realizing how weak he is, she seeks revenge by wooing him into the lake where he drowns.

Dolce Fine Giornata (directed by Jacek Borcuch) is a narrative feature about Nobel prize-winning Polish Jewish poet Maria Linde who lives in Tuscany with her family. She is admired by many in her village. Linde is also involved in a secret romance with Nazeer, a younger Egyptian immigrant who runs a tavern by the sea. After a terrorist attack takes place in Rome on the day that Linde is to receive an award from the city, she decides to speak her mind at the ceremony. Her comments, berating Europe for it’s declining democracy and anti-immigrant sentiment and sharing her thoughts of the beauty of the attack, calling it a work of art all cause adverse reactions around her, which ultimately leads to her life falling apart.

Ekran 2019 was a delight 5-day marathon Polish film festival celebrating Polish films and Cinema!

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