1714 -18th Avenue • Seattle WA 98122. WHEN: THIRD FRIDAY of the month • 7:30 PM (usually, but check for details on each film) • Free admission

Our Mission: Polish Film Club OKO is a private discussion club, affiliated with the Polish Cultural Center in Seattle (a non-profit organization), and devoted to promoting Polish-themed film art in the Pacific Northwest through exposure, education and discussion - ALL FILMS HAVE ENGLISH SUBTITLES.

ATTENTION FEBRUARY 2019: OKO's mission changed to promote survival of the Polish language among the immigrants: we will still strive to show films with the English subtitles, but it's no longer a major priority. Watch each post for the info on whether the subtitles are provided. We hope you continue to enjoy the Polish Films!

See you at Kino OKO and thank you for being a film friend. OKO logo by Iza Turski.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Friday, June 15th at 7:30: KORCZAK, a 1990 film by Andrzej Wajda

    Image result for korczak poster

  • Film host: Tatyana Tsyrlina-Spady, PhD, 
    Adjunct Professor at the School of Education, Seattle Pacific University. Tatyana is a member of many international organizations including the Association for Moral Education; Comparative International Education Society; Janusz Korczak Association of the United States, and formerly, Korczak Association of Russia.  Thank you Tatyana! 

    KORCZAK   •   Unrated | 1h 58min | Biography, Drama | 6 May 1990 (Poland)

    Director: Andrzej Wajda, Writer: Agnieszka Holland.  Stars: Wojciech Pszoniak, Ewa Dalkowska, Teresa Budzisz-Krzyzanowska 
    In Polish with English subtitles, at Polish Home upstairs, Friday, June 15, 7:30 pm

    The film is an account of the last days of life of the legendary Polish pedagogue Janusz Korczak and his heroic dedication to protecting Jewish orphans during the war. Jewish doctor Henryk Goldszmit, known also as Janusz Korczak, is a man of high principles. He is unafraid of shouting at German officers and frequently has to be persuaded to save his own life. His orphanage, set up in a cramped school in the Warsaw ghetto, provides shelter to 200 homeless kids. Putting his experimental educational methods into practice, he installs a kind of children's self-government, whose justice is in a big contrast to what is happening in the outside world. Right in front of the school, dozens of kids are dying or being killed everyday and their naked bodies lie on the street unattended. Ghetto's mayor assures Korczak that the orphanages will be saved. Korczak raises food and money for the orphanage from the rich Jews. In the final roundup he refuses to accept a Swiss passport and boards the train to Treblinka with his orphans.
    New York Times article about the ending of the film that was seen as controversial by some viewers:  [...] Mr. Wajda argued that movie makers have a duty to leave their audience with something more. He said he never considered ending the film with its penultimate shot, which shows the train speeding away from Warsaw toward the concentration camp.
    "Such an ending would have said to me that all these endeavors of Dr. Korczak were sunk in a black hole; that pedagogy in the face of force has no sense; that no efforts of man can reverse the fact that he is dying so accidentally. This would be an awful, existentialist point of view.
    "There would have been nothing easier than showing the death of the children in the gas chamber," Mr. Wajda. "It would have been a very moving scene. Everyone would have been crying. But do we have the right, does art have the right to show this? Is art for this?
    "Isn't art for telling it in some different way? Art has to stop short of certain facts, has to look for other possibilities. It seems to me that it is beautiful that when we do not agree to the fact that the children were gassed, we create a legend that these children go somewhere, into some better world."[...]

    Official website of the director/film here...    Cannot find the trailer in English, or Polish, for that matter, but youtube has it in German:
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG0GFBjdeA0

    Image result for korczak film stills

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    Film club OKO will be on vacation all summer - no films till September. have a great summer!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Friday, May 18th at 7:30: SOLARIS, by by Steven Soderbergh, 2002

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Solaris is a 2002 American science fiction drama film written and directed by Steven Soderbergh, produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau, and starring George Clooney and Natascha McElhone. It is based on the 1961 science fiction novel of the same name by Polish writer Stanisław Lem.

From wikipedia:  While admitting that he had not seen the film, Lem referred to Soderbergh's adaptation as a "remake of the Tarkovsky movie" and criticized what he had heard as departing far from his original intentions by focusing almost exclusively on the psychological relationship between the two main characters, while reducing the vast and alien ocean to a mere "mirror" of humanity:

“...to my best knowledge, the book was not dedicated to erotic problems of people in outer space... As Solaris' author I shall allow myself to repeat that I only wanted to create a vision of a human encounter with something that certainly exists, in a mighty manner perhaps, but cannot be reduced to human concepts, ideas or images. This is why the book was entitled "Solaris" and not "Love in Outer Space".”
       — Stanislaw Lem, The Solaris Station (December 8, 2002)

From Roger Ebert's 3.5 stars review: Solaris tells the story of a planet that reads minds, and obliges its visitors by devising and providing people they have lost, and miss. The Catch-22 is that the planet knows no more than its visitors know about these absent people. As the film opens, two astronauts have died in a space station circling the planet, and the survivors have sent back alarming messages. A psychiatrist named Chris Kelvin (George Clooney) is sent to the station, and when he awakens after his first night on board, his wife, Rheya (Natascha McElhone), is in bed with him. Some time earlier on earth, she had committed suicide. [...]

Next film Friday, June 15: 'Korczak' by Wajda, 1991