POLISH CINEMA 1989–2009. A CRITICAL HISTORY
The review is devoted to the new Krytyka Polityczna publication titled Kino Polskie 1989–2009. Historia Krytyczna [Polish Cinema 1989–2009. A Critical History] edited by Agnieszka Wiśniewska and Piotr Marecki, which contains twenty articles about Polish movies of the last two decades. They are written mostly by non-professional cinematologists. As the Polish title suggests, the book is dominated by a critical point of view and the goal is clearly defined — a new interpretation of Polish cinematography created in the spirit of modern Marxism, Lacan and Žižek. Despite the large range of subjects presented in the publication, it is possible to extract a few of the most important ideas. First chapter of the review, called “Transformation and frustration,” considers Polish political transformation and its influence on society, culture and cinematography. In another article entitled “Struggles with reality” I find how ideology affects the methods of analyses of the movies in Historia Krytyczna. On the one hand, sometimes movies are treated instrumentally and only as a starting point for consideration of social injustice, inequalities of capitalism, etc. On the otherhand, critical standpoint can bring surprising/unexpected and innovative interpretations. Last section, “Non-presentation,” attempts to look at the issues which, although very essential for contemporary society, have never been raised in Polish movies since 1989, or have been presented very trivially and without any reflection. Even though Historia Krytyczna includes a lot of unusual concepts, it does not become a completely new interpretation of modern Polish cinema.