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Polish National Cinema

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Polish National Cinema

Marek Haltof

318 pages,

ISBN  978-1-57181-275-9 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (April 2002)

ISBN  978-1-57181-276-6 $34.95/£24.00 Pb Published (May 2002)

eISBN 978-1-78238-469-4 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Buy the ebook from these vendors Available in GOBI®


Nominated for the 2003 American "Theatre Library Award"!

"Sources in English [on Polish cinema] are especially scant ... What a relief, then, to read such an informed and concise yet exhaustive account of Polish cinema."  · Slavic Review

"What makes Haltof's book so wonderful is that, like a great filmmaker, he uses his subject to craft a much deeper and complex story of the Polish people and their search for a national identity ... With clarity and fluidity he makes Poland come alive…To most of us the Polish national cinema was lost. Thanks to Mr. Haltof it has been found."  · Film and History

"Haltof's comprehensive, lucid, and refreshing critical history of Polish cinema significantly expands the existing literature on the topic in English ... his excellent bibliography and chronological filmography will make this remarkable volume essential for all serious libraries and very useful in the undergraduate or graduate classroom."  · Choice

"No doubt this 100-year history of Polish movie making is an outstanding reference work, the only one of its kind in English ... the incisive comments are memorable."  · Polish Library News

"[This] is the most comprehensive and authoritative overview of the history of film in Poland in a Western language. Marek Haltof expertly makes his way through canonized schools and movements, well-known auteurs and neglected facts in order to present the most balanced historical account of any East European cinema. This is not one more history of "important films" and their political biases but a story of one country's efforts to establish its own film industry, entertain its audiences, and reflect on its surroundings. An outstanding contribution to the literature on national cinemas and national identity in the other Europe."  · Bohdan Y. Nebesio, Film Studies Programme, University of Alberta.

"In his path-breaking book, Marek Haltof has identified and weaved together the multiple strands of historical, sociocultural, political and aesthetic influences which have shaped the evolution of this remarkable national cinema; and he has done so in a clear, forceful, lean and interesting style. He provides fresh and broadened critical perspectives on such internationally significant moments and movements in Polish cinema as the "Polish School" in the 1950s and 1960s, the "Cinema of Moral Concern" of the late seventies and early eighties, and the newer developments in Polish cinema associated with the transition from socialism to capitalism and democracy in the 1990s. It is a masterful narrative that is likely to remain the standard source for our understanding of Polish cinema for many years to come."  · Daniel J. Goulding, Emeritus Professor of Film Studies and Theater Arts, Oberlin College, and author of the award winning book Liberated Cinema: The Yugoslav Experience


In the years since World War II, Poland has developed one of Europe's most distinguished film cultures. However, in spite of the importance of Polish cinema this is a domain in need of systematic study.

This book is the first comprehensive study of Polish cinema from the end of the 19th century to the present. It provides not only an introduction to Polish cinema within a socio-political and economic context, but also to the complexities of East-Central European cinema and politics.

Marek Haltof is Assistant Professor in Film in the English Department at Northern Michigan University. He published Peter Weir: When Cultures Collide (1996) and three books on cinema in Polish, including Australian Cinema: On the Screen Construction of Australia (1996) and Author and Art Cinema: The Case of Paul Cox (2001). He is also the author of two novels published in Poland.

Subject: Film Studies General Cultural Studies
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


List of Illustrations


Chapter 1. Polish Cinema before the Introduction of Sound
Chapter 2. The Sound Period of the 1930s
Chapter 3. Polish Films—Whose Dreams? Cinema and the Political Construction of Polish National Identity after World War II
Chapter 4. The Poetics of Screen Stalinism: Socialist Realist Films
Chapter 5. The Polish School Revisited
Chapter 6. Adaptations, Personal Style, and Popular Cinema between 1965 and 1976
Chapter 7. Camouflage and Rough Treatment: The "Cinema of Distrust," the Solidarity Period, and Afterwards
Chapter 8. Landscape after Battle: The Return of Democracy
Chapter 9. The Representation of Stalinism in Polish Cinema
Chapter 10. National Memory, the Holocaust, and Images of the Jew in Postwar Polish Films
Chapter 11. Polish Films with an American Accent


Selected Filmography
Selected Bibliography
Index of Names
Index of Film Titles

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