Friday, February 16th : Strawberry Wine (2008), by Dariusz Jablonski

We are very lucky to have another film introduced by our UW Polish Studies Fulbright scholar,  Justyna Budzik, PhD.

She will bring us a  story that [...] is not a love story though it is full of love. It is not a comedy though the characters often say funny things. It is not a detective story even though the hero is trying to solve a murder. It is not a nature drama though it shows the splendid colours and customs of the countryside. It is not a musical though Lubica expresses her longing in a passionate dance. Nor is it a film about ghosts though a ghost does ask the hero for a favour. A few draughts of Strawberry Wine are enough to take us into a magical world in the true centre of Europe, where love, crime and penitence are just as much a part of life as the changing of the seasons, the migration of birds or the flowing of a mountain stream.[...] - —Anonymous at IMDb

Wino truskawkowe / Strawberry Wine, Poland/Slovakia. Director: Dariusz Jabłoński, screenplay: Andrzej Stasiuk, Dariusz Jabłoński based on Andrzej Stasiuk's Opowieści galicyjskie / Galician Tales,; the film is in Polish, with English,  at Polish Home upstairs, Friday, February 16, 7:30 pm.

Dr. Budzik found an interesting write-up about the movie at  - go there for the entire text, here is a fragment: [...] Dariusz Jabłoński, a well-known documentary director (including the award-winning Fotoamator / Photographer, 1998) and producer (the "Pokolenie 2000" / "Generation 2000" TV series, Przedwiośnie / The Spring to Come), who chose Galician Tales for his feature debut. His vision of Beskid Niski, around which we are shown by a man from Warsaw (physically resembling Andrzej Stasiuk - not a coincidence), is a blend of selected themes from Stasiuk's stories. 

These have been chosen to show off the beauty of the region, its extraordinary if not magical character on the one hand, and to sketch a gallery of unusual characters, who at first seem ordinary people, on the other. These are people who have many weaknesses, but are beautiful in their communing with nature, understanding of the world, faith in ghosts and divine providence. 

In Stasiuk and Jabłoński's eyes, Beskid Niski is a world of real men - tough guys struggling with not necessarily friendly nature, their own weaknesses, and excruciating loneliness. Maybe they do drink too much, but who can blame them? Cheap wine is not only a key to communicating with others, it's also a key to a magical world whose presence can be felt at every step. How can it not, when there's a Catholic roadside shrine standing next to the ruins of an Orthodox church, while the ford on the river is lined with matzevas from a Jewish cemetery? [...]

Trailer, here:

See you at the film and we will have strawberry wine :)

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Next film Friday, March 16th: REZERWAT, 2007, by Lukasz Palkowski (comedy) -  A young photographer moves to Praga, the most notorious district of Warsaw, known for common crime and alcoholism as well as unique folklore. This experience will have much impact on both his personal and professional life.

For blog Polandian review of the REZERWAT click here...


Polish Movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Since OKO meets only once a month, here is a list of movies in Polish, with English subtitles, available on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Documentaries are not included. If you are into that genre, there is a ton available! Enjoy!