Films: Venice

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Venice  {Wenecja}


Poland, 2010, 110 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Family Issues, Historical/Period
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: Polish English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Jan Jakub Kolski
Producer: Michal Kwiecinski
Editor: Witold Chominski
Screenwriter: Jan Jakub Kolski
Cinematographer: Artur Reinhart
Principal Cast: Marcin Walewski, Magdalena Cielecka, Grazyna Blecka-Kolska, Teresa Budzisz-Krzyzanowska

When the outbreak of war in Poland in 1939 crushes 11-year-old Marek’s dream of a summer trip to Venice, he tries to escape the frightening reality into which he’s suddenly been thrown by hiding in his aunt’s basement—until it’s flooded by a violent storm. Devising a plan to distract her nephew from the horrors outside, she helps him undertake his journey after all as they construct a replica of Venice, its islands rising out of the water. Together they enter into a subterranean dream world—which begins to seem more real than the one aboveground.

Director Jan Jakub Kolski shows his mastery of magic realism with Venice, which is based on a novel by the prolific octengenarian writer Wlodzimierz Odojewski, who has said that his aim in writing is to preserve the memory of a bygone world: “I have summoned up a past full of human emotions, human suffering, fear, love and hatred—but a past rooted in historical fact.” Seeking likewise to balance the mythical with the authentic, Kolski did a national talent search to cast Marek, finally settling on young veteran television actor Marcin Walewski. But he didn’t have to go far to find the actress who would portray Marek’s aunt: Grazyna Blecka-Kolska is Kolski’s wife.
—Juliet Sherwood

In cooperation with Kosciuszko Foundation

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