WARSAW — The 33rd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia — the Polish film industry’s main showcase for current production — ended Saturday with Waldemar Krzystek’s “Little Moscow” taking the main prize, leading to an outcry among those who thought other pics were more worthy.
Silver Lions went to documaker Jacek Blawut’s feature film debut “Not Yet Evening.” Malgorzata Szumowska took the director kudo for “33 Scenes From Life,” which also drew a nod at Locarno, while Michal Rosa took the script trophy for “Scratch,” which he also directed.
The “Little Moscow” win was controversial as mainstream media critics considered three other films to be the front-runners for the main Golden Lions: Jerzy Skolimowski’s return to filmmaking after a 17-year hiatus, “Four Nights With Anna,” as well as Szumowska’s and Rosa’s films.
Jury member and Oscar-nommed cinematographer Slawomir Idziak defended the verdict on public TV: “It is a classic story with a major emotional impact,” he said. “This will sound like a joke, but quite honestly, at the screening, my wife was using my jacket’s sleeve for a handkerchief.”
Krzystek’s film is a melodrama about a politically risky love affair between a Polish soldier and a Russian officer’s wife in the 1960s in the Polish city of Legnica, where a Russian contingent was stationed. The film does not have an American distributor.