Billed as “the most extensive showcase of Polish cinema outside of Poland,” the 27th version of the Polish Film Festival in America brings 20 new dramas, plus 10 older titles dating from 1917 to 1977. Twenty-six documentaries and five shorts are also slated. From November 6th through 22nd, the festival screens at two Chicago screening rooms and Muvico Rosemont 18, a multiplex in suburban Rosemont, Illinois.
The festival serves the city’s large Polish community, besides cineastes. Every year, festival founder Christopher Kamysze books a few entries that screen here before they open in Poland.
Popular commercial features include “Karbala” by Krzyszto Lukaszewicz. Touted as a box office record-breaker in Poland, this timely Iraq drama depicts Polish and Bulgarian soldiers defending Karbala’s city hall in April 2004. Non-disclosure clauses for their “stabilization mission” contracts supposedly erase the true record of a three-day engagement with Shiite forces.
Tough-to-stomach crime scenes, eating disorders, a random suicide and an occasional ghost serve up the mise-en-scene of Malgorzata Szumowska’s offbeat “Body.” Besides sporting what might be the most original opening and closing scenes in the festival, “Body” lends wry overtones to touching insights on life and death.