Foreign Film

Polish Cinema: A Hard Sell in Germany

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  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • By ignoring Polish cinema, German audiences are missing out on some of the most exciting movies being made in Europe today. The Polish film “Body” cannot even find a distributor in Germany, despite winning a Berlinale prize this year.
  • Facts


    • “Ida,” a film by Polish director Paweł Pawlikowski, won the Academy Award for best foreign film this year.
    • It has been seen by fewer than 20,000 Germans compared to a half-million in both France and the U.S.
    • Relatively liberal policies when Poland was Communist-controlled allowed its movie industry to flourish and produce critically acclaimed, world-class movies. 
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“Ida,” the celebrated film from Paweł Pawlikowski and winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film this year, has already been seen by over half a million people both in France and the U.S.

In Germany, it has been seen by fewer than 20,000 moviegoers.

“Body,” a film by Malgorzata Szumowska that won the Silver Bear at the Berlinale film festival, has not been able to find a distributor for Germany.

It would appear that Germans haven’t yet realized that some of the most exciting movies around at the moment are from its neighbor Poland.

Poland has a strong movie-making heritage. In the early 1960s, its films were considered the equal of Western productions. Roman Polanski’s “Knife in the Water” is regarded as the epitome of Polish filmmaking.

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