Afterimage: A posthumous Oscar for Andrzej Wajda?
by Dorota Hartwich
- The late Polish master’s final feature film is his country’s candidate in the race for the upcoming Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film
Afterimage [+see also:
interview: Zofia Wichlacz
film profile], Andrzej Wajda's final film, will represent Poland in the race for the upcoming Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film (which will be announced on 26 February 2017, following the announcement of the nominated films on 24 January). Unfortunately, the master will never find out the Academy’s final decision, as he passed away recently, at the age of 90.
A legendary personality, Andrzej Wajda, one of Poland’s greatest directors, dedicated his professional life to portraying his country’s most significant historical moments on film, with his trademark enthusiasm and most painful concerns. He has previously been nominated for the award four times: in 1976 with The Promised Land, in 1980 with The Maids of Wilko, in 1982 with Man of Iron, and in 2008 with Katyn [+see also:
interview: Andrzej Wajda
interview: Michal Kwiecinski
film profile]. In 2000, the Academy awarded him an honorary Oscar for his life’s work. Wajda also took home the Palme d’Or in 1981 with Man of Iron and a Special Jury Award in 1957 for Kanał. As well as countless other distinctions, the filmmaker’s career was also recognised at Venice and Berlin, with the director receiving an honorary Golden Lion and a Golden Bear in 1998 and 2006, respectively.
In Afterimage, Wajda depicts an individual’s struggle, that of one of his favourite avant-garde painters, Wladyslaw Strzeminski (portrayed by Boguslaw Linda), founder of the artistic movement of Unism, and a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz. Although the film centres on the character of the painter, the historical context plays an important role in the story. In fact, Strzeminski, as an independent individual and free-thinker, is confronted with the oppressive workings of totalitarianism that will weigh down on him, breaking and suppressing him, right up until his tragic end.
Unveiled at its world premiere at Toronto, the film was screened at a special session at the Gdynia Film Festival in September. The film was produced by Akson Studio, in co-production with the National Audiovisual Institute, TVP, EC1 and the Tumult Foundation, with support from the Polish Film Institute. Afterimages will be distributed in Poland from 13 January 2017 by Akson, while Films Boutique will handle its international sales.
(Translated from French)