Afterimage is a multilayered film on the role of art and freedom of expression; a film about an artist destroyed by the system and a film on how dangerous it is to fuse political power with a will to shape people’s consciousness.
Screened in the Masters section of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, it is the final film by the most prominent Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, who died in October 2016.
Władysław Strzemiński, a renowned painter and pioneer of the avant-garde, works as a professor at the National School of Fine Arts in Łódź in post-war Poland. His students treat him with the highest esteem but university authorities and the Communist Ministry of Culture are less than respectful. Struggling with physical impairments, Strzemiński opposes the communist regime that demands his conformance to doctrine and the style of socialist realism. By refusing to comply with party regulations and choosing not to compromise his art, the artist’s choices bring about dramatic consequences with Strzemiński being expelled from the university and the artists’ union. While his students continue to support him by visiting him for private lectures, a jobless Strzemiński soon falls into poverty and poor health as the authorities persist in their determination to ruin him...
ANDRZEJ WAJDA - MASTER OF WORLD CINEMA
In 2016, the late director Andrzej Wajda celebrated his 90th birthday and the release of his 40th feature film. With a career spanning over 60 years, Wajda’s contribution to world cinema has been profound and recognised by the Academy Awards (Honorary Oscar in 2000), European Film Awards (Lifetime Achievement, 1990), Berlin Film Festival (Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement, 2006), and many others.
Four of his films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
His last feature Afterimage is an intimate portrayal of an unbroken man deeply dedicated to art. A great artist and co-creator of the theory of Unism, Strzemiński became famous before the Second World War. The film depicts the sombre years of 1949– 1952, when Sovietisation of Poland took the most radical form and socialist realism became the obligatory style of artistic expression.
All non-English films screen with English subtitles.
POLISH FILM FESTIVAL 2017
THE LAST FAMILY
Sunday 4 June 6:30 pm
TIPS FOR CHEATING
Monday 5 June 6:30 pm
Friday 9 June 9:00 pm
Sunday 11 June 6:30 pm