The Polish-Jewish Heritage Foundation of Canada

is proud to support

the Martin Scorsese Presentation of the Masterpieces of Polish Cinema

at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West, Toronto, from June 5 to July 1, 2014

The 21 screenings include:

Austeria Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz

On the first day of World War I in the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia, the country inn of the elderly, distinctly unorthodox Jewish proprietor Tag (Franciszek Pieczka) becomes a nexus for assorted townspeople fleeing from the approaching Russian army. Over the course of a day and night, individual narratives intertwine with dreams, memories and visions to create an almost hallucinatory tapestry of Jewish communal life and tradition, a beautiful, absurd, and conflicted world unknowingly perched on the brink of apocalypse. Based on the novel by dissident Polish-Jewish writer Julian Stryjkowski, who collaborated on the screenplay with director Jerzy Kawalerowicz and Tadeusz Konwicki, Austeria was a realization of a long-held dream for the Galician-born director, whose hometown's dominant Jewish population had been destroyed in the Holocaust. Recreating the vanished world of Eastern European Judaism with affection and wit, Kawalerowicz nevertheless sparked controversy with his depiction of Jewish fatalism in the face of potential extermination, as crystallized in a haunting final scene where a joyful Hasidic celebration becomes a prelude to tragedy.

The Promised Land (Ziemia obiecana) Directed by Andrzej Wajda

Andrzej Wajda continued his seventies string of classic literary adaptations with this epic, Academy Award-nominated rendering of the celebrated 1898 novel by Nobel laureate Wladyslaw Reymont, which had previously been filmed as a silent in 1927. In the bustling, booming and brutal industrial city of Ld, three friends ?? Polish nobleman Karol Borowiecki (Daniel Olbrychski), German factory heir Max Baum (Andrzej Seweryn) and Jewish wheeler-dealer Moryc Welt (Wojciech Pszoniak) ?? band together to start a textile factory. The roguish Borowiecki's affair with the wife of a prominent Jewish cotton magnate gives the trio advance warning of impending tariff increases, which allows them to make a quick killing on cotton import_s and so fund their factory; but in the cutthroat world of unbridled nineteenth-century capitalism, the promise of profit can be illusory and the plummets precipitous. Wajda uses Reymont's episodic narrative to paint a vivid, sometimes grotesque picture of Ld in the nineteenth century, a multicultural Moloch built on blood, corruption and naked exploitation.

The Hour-glass Sanatorium (Sanatorium pod klepsydr)

Directed by Wojciech Has

A young man (Jan Nowicki) arrives at a dilapidated sanatorium in search of his father, and is quickly plunged into the mysterious clinic's time- and space-defying labyrinth, encountering scenes from his childhood, hallucinatory visions of long-ago imperialist adventures, and ghostly remnants of Poland's vanished Jewish world. Adapted from the book of short stories by Polish-Jewish author Bruno Schulz (who perished in the Holocaust), this phantasmagorical funhouse ride is even wilder than director Wojciech Has' earlier classic The Saragossa Manuscript_, but beneath its deliciously delirious weirdness is a profound lament for a prewar Poland rendered extinct by Nazi atrocities and communist stagnation. Has' emphasis on the distinctly Jewish milieu of Schulz's stories may have had more than a little something to do with the film's problems with the authorities; forbidden to take the film to Cannes, Has smuggled Hour-glass out of the country to screen it at the festival without official sanction, where it received the Prix du Jury.

Complete Schedule

Illumination
Thursday, June 5 6:30pm
Man of Iron
Tuesday, June 10 6:30pm
Mother Joan of the Angels
Saturday, June 21 7:15pm
Camouflage
Thursday, June 5 8:45pm
The Constant Factor
introduced by Krystof Zanussi
Friday, June 13 8:45pm
Pharaoh
Sunday, June 22 8pm
Eroica
Friday, June 6 6:30pm
Austeria
Saturday, June 14 7pm
The Last Day of Summer
Tuesday, June 24 6:30pm
Night Train
Friday, June 6 8:45pm
Jump
Sunday, June 15 3:15pm
The Saragossa Manuscript
Friday, June 27 6:15pm
Innocent Sorcerers
Saturday, June 7 1:45pm
The Promised Land
Tuesday, June 17 6:45pm
Knights of the Black Cross
Saturday, June 28 5:15pm
Ashes and Diamonds
Sunday, June 8 4pm
The Hour-glass Sanitarium
Friday, June 20 6:30pm
Blind Chance
Saturday, June 29 3:15pm
The Wedding
Sunday, June 8 6:30pm
To Kill This Love
Saturday, June 21 1pm
A Short Film About Killing
Tuesday, July 1 6:30pm

For further information please see the following links:

Masterpieces of Polish Cinema Webpage

E-blast (summary of the program)

Agnieszka Holland on the Scorsese presentation
password: poland

Ticket Information