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Warsaw Film Fest sets political agenda

Surprise Polish election stirs event

PRAGUE — Ever the political bellwether, the 23rd Warsaw Film Festival opened Friday with a slate of 190 pics from 55 countries that reflect changing times.

With a surprise election due Oct. 21 and twin brothers President Lech Kaczynski and Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski struggling to maintain power in Poland, films like “Twist of Fate,” which explores the minefield of communist-era secret police archives, have some politicos nervous.

Meanwhile, tiny Estonia is emerging as a power-hitter in film, with five features screening, including Venice kudo winner “Autumn Ball” by Veiko Ounpuu, a top draw in its home country.

Two Polish pics generating buzz are helmer Dariusz Jablonski’s “Strawberry Wine,” screening in the New Films New Directors competition, and helmer Anna Maliszewska’s irreverent “Room for a Quick One.”

Fest, which also features the bustling CentEast market and editing and journalism workshops, wraps Oct. 21.

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