Polish Cinema in an International Context

An international conference, organised by Cornerhouse, Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Warsaw), Polish Film Institute and University of Central Lancashire (Preston) and University of Salford.

The conference is part of POLSKA! YEAR in the United Kingdom, organised by Adam Mickiewicz Institute and supported by Polish Cultural Institute in London and Polish Consulate in Manchester.

This conference will consider Polish cinema in an international context and feature contributions from both leading Polish, UK and international academics, as well as professionals involved with the production, distribution, archiving and promotion of Polish films. The conference will especially address the question of why, given Polish cinema under communism’s wide dissemination and popularity, contemporary Polish cinema has much more difficulty in crossing international borders. The conference will be accompanied by a festival of Polish cinema, hosted by Cornerhouse and public discussions of Polish films. The conference is addressed to the academic community, as well as educators and promoters of Polish films and the public at large.


Organising Committee

Prof. Ewa Mazierska, School of Journalism, Media and Communication, University of Central Lancashire

Dr. Michael Goddard, Lecturer in Media, Salford University

Special Guest

Krzysztof Zanussi, internationally renowned Polish filmmaker

Keynote speakers

Prof. Ian Christie, Birkbeck, University of London, leading expert on European cinema and avant-garde film and video

Dr. Peter Hames, Staffordshire University, leading expert on Eastern European Cinema

Dr. Iwona Kurz, Warsaw University, leading expert on Polish cinema, academic and film critic

Prof. Tadeusz Lubelski, Jagiellonian University, leading expert on Polish cinema, academic and film critic

Prof. Miroslaw Przylipiak, Pomeranian Academy in Slupsk, leading expert on Polish cinema, film critic and documentary filmmaker


Full Conference/ £60
One Day/ £30
To book a place download the registration form and email the completed version to Dr Michael Goddard m.n.goddard@salford.ac.uk. Payment can be made at the start of the conference.


Thu 3 December

19:00 – 20:00 Talk/ Keynote (1) Ian Christie: Poland: But not as we Knew it
Chair Michael Goddard

20:20 ScreeningThe Hourglass Sanatorium (Wojciech Has) 124 mins

Fri 4 December

10:15 – 10:45 Conference registration – Coffee / tea and biscuits to be available

10:45 – 11:30 Keynote (2) / Iwona Kurz:
The fundamental lack: Why do Polish Films Fail in an International Context
Chair Ewa Mazierska

11:30 – 12:30 Session 1: Polish Art Cinema and International Styles
Chair Elżbieta Ostrowska
Barbara Klonowska: Far away from the Present: Magical Realism in Polish Film
Malgorzata Bugaj: Lech Majewski and his Cinematic Works

11:30 – 12:30 Session 2 : Boundaries of Polish (Film) Culture and Identity
Chair Ian Christie
Dorota Ostrowska: Film Culture in Poland after WWII: Poster Art and Foreign Films
Charlotte Govaert: How Polish is Polish?: Silver City and the National Identity of Documentary Film

12:30 – 13:15 Buffet lunch

13:15 – 14:00 Keynote (3) / Tadeusz Lubelski:
The Polish New Wave from a Current Perspective
Chair Ewa Mazierska

14:00 – 15:30 Session 10: Eastern Connections
Chair Iwona Kurz
Izabela Kalinowska: Representing Russia in Polish Cinema: A Double Portrait
Eva Näripea: The Transnational Space of Science Fiction: Marek Piestrak’s The Test of Pilot Pirx (1978)
Agnieszka Kamrowska: Nastasja: Wajda, Dostoyevsky and Kabuki theatre

14:00 – 15:30 Session 4: Polish Emigré Auteurs
Chair Michael Goddard
Christopher Caes: Dreaming (B)Easts: Transgressive sexualities as Figures for Historical Trauma in the Emigré cinema of Borowczyk, Polański and Żuławski
John Orr: Skolimowski and the Triumph of English Modernism
Jonathan Owen: Particular Collections and Islands of Love: The Surrealist Heterotopias of Walerian Borowczyk,

15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break

16:00 – 17:30 Session 5: Cinema, Nation, Politics
Chair Michael O’Pray
Konrad Klejsa: Co-Productions, National Stereotypes and the Politics of Memory: the Case of Andrzej Wajda’s Pilatus und Andere (1972)
Kamila Kuc: Challenging the Notions of National Cinema: Zanussi’s Co-Productions
Sheila Skaff: Political Allegory in Cinema in Poland before 1939,

16:00 – 17:30 Session 6: Polish and Other New Waves
Chair Peter Hames
Cesar Ballester: Subjectivism, Uncertainty and Individuality: Munk’s Man on the Tracks (1956) and its Influence on the Czechoslovak New Wave
Alison Smith: Jerzy Radziwiłowicz in French Cinema
Ana Ribiero: Old Matters, New Waves: A Comparison between the Polish 1960s and Romanian 2000s New Waves,

17:30 – 18:30 Drinks reception/ Includes speeches 

19:00 – 20:00 Discussion with guests about Polish cinema
Chairs Ewa Mazierska and Michael Goddard

20:00 Screening/ Mocny Człowiek 77mins (DVD)

Sat 5 December

10:30 – 11:00 Welcome/ Coffee available

11:00 – 12:30 Session 7: New Views of Polański
Chair Robert Murphy
Alexandre Tylski: Polański’s Relationship with Poland from Bicycle (1955) to The Ghost (2009)
Joanna Rydzewska: Exilic Sensibility: Alienation, Displacement and the Outsider’s Gaze in Polański’s Repulsion and Cul-de-Sac (1966)
Daniel Bird: Screening of ‘A Ticket to the West’ on Polański’s Knife in the Water

11:00 – 12:30 Session 8: 1989 and Post-Communist Polish Cinema
Chair Michael Goddard
Mateusz Werner: The Image of the Shadow: The Communist Past in Contemporary Polish Cinema
Elżbieta Ostrowska: Imagining the Balkans in the Polish Post-Communist Cinema of Władysław Pasikowski
Barbara Giza: ‘We Want to be like the West’: Piotr Uklański’s Summer Love as Metaphor for Post-Communist Transition

11:00 – 12:30 Coffee break

12:15 – 12:30 Keynote (4)/ Peter Hames
West of the East: Polish and East European Film Reception in the UK

12:30 – 13:15 Buffet lunch

13:15 – 14:00 Session 9: Anglo-Polish Connections
Chair John Orr
Karolina Kosińska: Style and Attitude: Social(ist) Realism in the Polish Black Series and British Free Cinema
Robert Murphy: Poles in Swinging London: Polański and Skolimowski
Jonathan Bates: Polish Cinema in Britain during the Last Decade of Communist Rule

14:00 –15:30 Session 3: The International Reception of Wajda and Polish Cinema
Chair Izabela Kalinowska
Ania Draniewicz: English Language Critical Engagements with Polish Cinema
Matilda Mroz: Cinema and Memorial Practice: Bazin encounters Kanal
Darragh O’Donoghoe: The Shifting British Reception of Wajda’s work from Man of Marble to Katyn

14:00 –15:30 Coffee break

15:30 – 15:45 Session 11: Visegrad Connections
Chair Ewa Mazierska
Jan Mervart: Polish Cinematography in the Context of the Postwar History of the Visegrad Four
Petra Hanáková: Polish and Czech Film and Female Narratives of History and Identity
Piotr Zwierzchowski: Man Facing the Absurdity of Reality: Andrzej Munk’s Bad Luck and Péter Bacsó’s The Witness

15:45 – 17:15 Session 12: Nostalgia for Heroes
Chair John Cunningham
Iwona Guść: Foreign Characters in Polish Cinema: Andrzej Kondratiuk’s Hydro-Riddle (1970)
Michał Oleszczyk: Modern Clashes: Trips to America in Sylwester Chęciński’s The Big Deal (1977) and Alberto Lattuada’s Mafioso (1962)
Anna Misiak: Reconfiguring Glorious and Heroic History: Nostalgia for the Past in the Context of Polish Post-Communist Film

15:45 – 17:15 Keynote (5) Mirosław Przylipiak
Chair Ewa Mazierska
Assasination in Gibraltar by Anna Jadowska in the context of dominant tendencies in contemporary Polish cinema

17:15 – 18:00 Drinks reception

18:00 – 19:15 Talk/ by Krzysztof Zanussi
Chair Kamila Kuc

19:15 – 20:00 Screening At Full Gallop (Cwał) (Krzysztof Zanussi)
With post-screening director Q&A 20:40