Polish film art – the greatest directors

Polish film art – the greatest directors

 “Others praise of the fence” – one would like to shout out, when once again all of Poland is not satisfied at news about nominations for the Oscars and the proper winners. Of course, there is nothing wrong in appreciating foreign creators. However, let’s get acquainted with masters of Polish cinematography – it also has its masters.


Roman Polański

While speaking about eminent Polish directors, one of the first names that come to mind is Roman Polański. The artist was born in a Polish family in Paris. At the age of three, he returned to Krakow with his parents, and after the outbreak of World War II he ended up in the ghetto (fortunately, he managed to avoid being deported to a concentration camp). After graduating from the famous Łódź film school, in 1962 he made his first famous film “Knife in the Water”. Three years later, the director began working abroad. The first manifestation of his international career was “Repulsion” filmed in England, and already in 1968 in the USA Polański created a worldwide hit “Rosemary’s Baby”. His most important and well-known works include “Chinatown”, “Death and the Maiden”, “Tess”, “The Ninth Gate”, “Oliver Twist”, “The Pianist”, “The Ghost Writer”, “Carnage” and ” La Vénus à la fourrure”. Roman Polański is an Oscar winner for the film “The Pianist” (he also won four more nominations for this prestigious award).

Agnieszka Holland

Agnieszka Holland is a film, theater and television director, screenwriter, actress and translator. She was born on November 28, 1948 in Warsaw. She graduated from the directing department in Prague and it was outside of Poland that she spent a large part of her life. From 1981 she lived outside of Poland (since 2008 in France). The beginnings of her career include working with Krzysztof Zanussi – Holland was his assistant during the filming of “Illumination”. She also worked as a screenwriter on the films of Wajda, Bogajewicz and Zajączkowski. Her own works are full of accurate observations and comments about reality. Her most-appreciated films include: “Europa, Europa”, “Provincial Actors”, “Fever”, “Olivier, Olivier”, “Master’s Copy”, “Julie Walking Home”, “Total Eclipse” and “In Darkness”. Holland also does not avoid the series. It was she who created the “Ekipa”, which is one of the best Polish TV series of recent years. She also had the opportunity to show off directing American series – “Treme”, “Rosemary’s Baby” or some episodes of “House of cards”.

Stanisław Bareja

One of the most popular Polish directors was born on December 5, 1929 in Warsaw, and died on June 14, 1987 in Essen. He graduated in directing at the PWSF in Łódź, and made his debut in 1960 with the film “Husband of his wife.” Bareja from the 1970s was involved in activities of the opposition underground movement. His favorite film genres were comedies, which very well reflects in the collection of his most liked and appreciated works: “Man – woman wanted”, “A Jungle Book of Regulations”, “Brunet Will Call”, “What Will You Do When You Catch Me?”, “Teddy Bear”, also the series “Alternatywy 4” and “Co-drivers”.

Krzysztof Kieślowski

The Polish director and screenwriter was born on June 27, 1941 in Warsaw, and died on March 13, 1996 also in the capital city. At the beginning of his career he made mainly documentary films, but over time his professional interests turned to plot images. He graduated from the Theater Techniques High School and then the Łódź Film School. He worked at the Contemporary Theater in Warsaw performing the function of a wardrobe assistant of such stars as Tadeusz Łomnicki, Aleksander Bardini and Zbigniew Zapasiewicz. Initially he was considered to be a specialist in the “cinema of moral concern”, but with time he slightly changed from this subject. His international career began with the film “The Double Life of Veronique”. He was also appreciated by such works as “A Short Film About Killing”, “Dekalog” and the “Three Colors” trilogy (“Blue”, “Red” and “White”).


Andrzej Wajda

One of the greatest and most popular Polish directors and co-creator of the Polish film school was born on March 6, 1926 in Suwałki, and died on October 9, 2016 in Warsaw. In his youth, he tried his hand as a painter (in the years 1946-50 he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow), however, he achieved real success in the profession of a theater and film director. In 1953 he graduated in directing at the famous Lodz Film School. He became known as an extremely versatile artist: he directed psychological, historical and political films, adaptations of works of fiction and was a co-creator of the cinema of moral concern that exposed the pathologies of the communist system in our country. His most important works include “Kanał”, “Ashes and Diamonds”, “Innocent Sorcerers”, “Everything for Sale”, “The Wedding”, “The Promised Land”, “Man of Marble”, “The Maids of Wilko”, “Man of Iron”, “Miss Nobody,” “Pan Tadeusz,” “The Revenge”, “Katyń”, “Walesa. Man of hope” and “Afterimag”. In 2000, Andrzej Wajda received an Oscar for lifetime achievement.