Adam Zagajewski, photo: Tomek Wiech
Adam Zagajewski's Kraków, a documentary about literature and Kraków, is the first of 13 films promoting Europe's literary capitals, including Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin, Florence, London and Stockholm.
Filming on the Magdalena Piekorz documentary with the working title Kraków Adama Zagajewskiego / Adam Zagajewski's Kraków is drawing to a close. The film's narrator and protagonist is Adam Zagajewski, the poet, novelist, essayist and laureate of many pretigious literary awards. The film features letters, poems and photos linking great literary figures with Kraków, and the writer talks about his masters, favourite places and writers and poets who drew inspiration from the former Polish royal capital - both the world renowned, such as Nobel laureates Czesław Miłosz and Wisława Szymborska, and the lesser known.
"This film will be somewhat built like a poem, from singular sentences, words and sometimes even from a sense of chaos, one can enter the picture of a literary city", director Piekorz said at a press conference on the 18th of January 2013,
What is interesting are all the levels on which one can talk about literature. From literature seen through the political and historical context, through its evolution and its influence on artists and how they took part in creating it. All in all it's exceptional. The city is an inspiration to poets and writers but history also couples with literature.
According to Adam Zagajewski, the documentary captures the essence of the city, "overflowing with poetry, prose, an incredible city, so different because of art and literature, but at the same time we want to show the ordinary Kraków - the visible, the material so that's it's recognisable to tourists".
Adam Zagajewski was born in 1945 in Lviv, Ukraine. His family was repatriated to Poland shortly after his birth. Zagajewski spent his childhood years in Gliwice, in the Silesia region, and his university years in Kraków. He studied psychology and philosophy at the Jagiellonian University there, later teaching philosophy courses as a university assistant. Zagajewski soon made a name for himself as a poet of Generation '68, referred to as the Kraków New Wave.
The film is part of the City(W)rites programme, which oversees production of 13 documentaries about European literary capitals. European media outlets involved in the project include the Polish channel TVP, Danmarks Radio (Denmark), the Portugese channel RTP, RTE (Ireland), the BBC, RAI, Arte (France/Germany) and Swedish Kunskapskanalen, which will then be broadcasting the films.
Adam Zagajewski's Kraków premieres in May 2013 during the Czesław Miłosz Festival in Kraków.
Sources: Polish-language article for culture.pl, culture.pl
Editor: Marta Jazowska