Structured according to key themes, Polish Cinema Today analyzes the remarkable innovations in Polish cinema emerging a decade after the 1989 dissolution of the Soviet bloc, once its film industry had evolved from a socialist state enterprise into a much more accessible system of film production, with growing expertise in distribution and marketing. By the early 2000s, an impressive, diverse cohort of filmmakers broke through the gridlock of a small set of esteemed, aging auteurs as well as the glut of imported Hollywood blockbusters, empowered by the digital revolution and domestic audience appetite for independent work. Polish directors today challenge sacrosanct bromides about national and gender identity, Poland’s historical martyrdom, the status of the influential Catholic Church, and the benevolent family, while investigating the phenomena of migration and sexuality in their full complexity. Each thematic chapter places these recent films within a historical/cultural context nationally and transnationally, and designs its analyses of specific works to engage general audiences of film scholars, students, and cinephiles.
Helena Goscilo is professor in the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Culture at Ohio State University.
Beth Holmgren is professor in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies at Duke University.
Introduction: Why Polish Cinema Today?
Chapter 1: Saints and Sinners: The Polish Catholic Church in Close-up
Chapter 2: Wandering Poles: Lost or Left in Migration
Chapter 3: All in the Family: The Ties that Bind and Blight
Chapter 4: Rescreening Christian-Jewish Relations in Interwar, Wartime, and Postwar Poland
Chapter 5: Crime à la Carte: Death and Double-Dealing
Chapter 6: Cold War Retakes in the 21st Century
Chapter 7: Female Sexuality with and without Apologies
Chapter 8: Male Gays under a Female Gaze
Conclusion: Polish Film Tomorrow?
This book is a valuable source for researchers and is a delightful read for anybody interested in Poland.
This is another brilliant study by Goscilo and Holmgren, exquisitely researched and written with verve, insight, and sparkling analysis. Scholars, students, and movie lovers will make many discoveries from the dozens of contemporary Polish films examined in depth and their transnational explorations of gender, genre, religion, migration, crime, family, Jewish life, and same-sex love. This is a remarkable contribution to film studies and to our understanding of Polish art and society after 1989.