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RELEASES Poland

From legends to thrillers

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This Friday sees the release of three hotly-awaited national productions, Janosik. A True Story [+see also:
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by director duo Agnieszka Holland (Olivier, Olivier, Total Eclipse, Washington Square) and Kasia Adamik, Enen by Feliks Falk (The Collector [+see also:
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) and Dariusz Zawiślak’s Balladyna (A Very Christmas Story).

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Among these three titles, the one attracting the most attention is the new feature by Holland who this time has chosen to co-direct with her daughter Kasia Adamik. The two set out to deconstruct the myth of Juraj Janosik, the Slovakian Robin Woods and hero of the Carpathians who lived at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries. Despite the mythical nature of his character, he is depicted with realism, seen from a human perspective with all his strengths and weaknesses.

A four-way co-production between Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary (Apple Film Production, In Film Praha, Telewizja Polska, Charlie's, Eurofilm Studio, HBO Central Europe), Janosik. The True Story has taken seven years to make after a lack of funding stalled production after the first four months.

Four years after his hit title The Collector (Grand Prize at Gdynia 2005), Feliks Falk has a thriller lined up for filmgoers. Set in Wroclaw during the great flood of 1997, Balladyna (The Bait) is about a young doctor (Borys Szyc) who realises that when the documents of one of his patients disappears without a trace, the patient can no longer be identified, turning the mystery into a deadly risk for many. Produced by Wytwórnia Filmów Dokumentalnych i Fabularnych, Enen is distributed by Monolith Films.

Alongside two masters of Polish cinema like Holland and Falk, Zawiślak almost seems like an amateur. Yet he set himself an ambitious objective with Balladyna, adapted from the drama of the same name and scripted by distinguished romantic poet Juliusz Slowacki. In his daring attempt to set Slowacki’s work in the contemporary reality of New York, he has made it denser and added a hint of eroticism to orient it towards the thriller genre.

A Polish-US project, the film was produced by Adyton International and co-produced by Legend 44, Tele 5 and Trygon Film.

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(Translated from French)

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