Jurek Wins in Vancouver
small, Jurek Wins in Vancouver, A still from Jurek, dir. Paweł Wysoczański, photo: promotional materials of Silesia Film, jurek_1.jpg
Paweł Wysoczański’s documentary about Jerzy Kukuczka was awarded with the main prize at the 18th Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival.
art of freedom
Wysoczański’s film was competing for the Canadian festival award against 65 films from 23 countries. To decide about awarding Paweł Wysoczański’s Jurek with the Grand Prix was a jury comprising of Deb Smythe, Pat and Baiba Morrow, and Brandon Pollon. Pat Morrow justified the decision:
this film focuses on the visionary who brought the exciting era of the Polish hardcore climbing community to a fatal conclusion.
Jurek tells the story of Jerzy Kukuczka, one of the most famous Polish Himalayan mountaineers. He was world’s second person to climb the Crown of the Himalayas and the Karakoram – all the fourteen peaks positioned at over 8000 metres above the sea level. He died on the 24th October 1989 during the Lhotse expedition.
The documentary by Paweł Wysoczański, however, does not concentrate on the mystery of the Himalayan mountaineer's death. It shows a person who climbs up, higher and higher - literally, but also metaphorically and symbolically. From a bootblack to a millionaire, from a socialist worker to an international media star, from the man who climbs without any money and equipment to the real competitor of Reinhold Messner in the competition to climb the Crown of the Himalayas and the Karakoram - we read on the Polish Docs website.
Paweł Wysoczański’s film consists of tens of archival records, photographs, TV programs and interviews conducted by the film creators with Kukuczka’s family and friends. Joined together in Jurek, these materials tell a story about Polish Himalayan mountaineers of the 80s, but above all, they make up a portrait of a relentless, determined and passionate person.
Jurek is the first Polish film to be ever awarded with the Grand Prix at the International Mountain Film Festival. A complete list of winners is available on the festival’s website.
Sources: PolishDocs, Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, edit. BS, transl. Agata Dudek