"Visual masterpiece", "top discovery", "a revelation" – Papusza by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze dazzles critics at the 48th International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary.
Still from Papusza, dir. Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze, photo by: Krzysztof Ptak/next-film
Paweł T. Felis writes for the newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza that "Papusza is the biggest discovery at the Karlovy Vary festival so far. […] After presentation of the surprisingly hasty and dull competition films – such as the disappointing Honeymoon by Jan Hrebejk with Anna Geislerowa, or the French-Belgian 11.6 by Philippe Godeau – Papusza is a revelation".
In her review for Rzeczpospolita, Barbara Hollender writes:
We had been waiting for this film for several years, but it was worth it. After the screening I could not collect myself for a long time. Papusza is a remarkable masterpiece which raids your subconscious, sucks you in completely, and defeats simple judgments. To me, this wise, lyrical film, filled with freedom and great emotion, is a more interesting story about the Roma people than those made by Kusturica or Gattlif.
The Gazeta Wyborcza review highlights admirable acting in the Krauzes‘ new film. "We can read a struggle, an internal conflict in the magnetizing and ever-changing face of Jowita Budnik. On one hand she expresses the dramatic need to become one of 'her people', and on the other – her over-awareness, an independent voice which has to be concealed". Felis’s review also describes Antoni Pawlicki’s role (Jerzy Ficowski in the film) as "brilliant, and touchingly youthful."
Remarkable Cinematography by Staroń and Ptak
Reviewers from Poland and abroad unanimously applaud the cinematographic work by the Krzysztof Ptak-Wojciech Staroń duo. Umberto Rossi writes on the website Ogginotizie.it:
The film is made up of striking and painterly black-and-white photography. It is a visual mosaic of sorts, fabricated out of small, carefully measured units, as if they were fragments of a symphony that tries to recreate one of Papusza’s poems, constructed out of painful verses about difficult living conditions and about wounds inflicted on the Roma people throughout the times of various political regimes, predominantly those implemented by the Nazis.
In the Czech review on Totalfilm, we find:
The black and white cinematography portrays the poetic, and at times raw backdrop of the times before and after the World War Two, which involved the Roma people with their tabors and customs, but also the psychological and physical suffering caused by the camping prohibition.
Jowita Budnik as Papusza in the film by Krzysztofa Krauze i Joanny Kos-Krauze, photo by: Krzysztof Ptak/next-film
Paweł Felis adds in his Gazeta Wyborcza review:
the film escapes excessive stylization; one won’t find a trace of forced artiness in it. Its greatest advantage – just like in the case of Papusza’s poems – turns out to be its painstaking coarseness, the inconspicuousness, behind which veiled are the notable questions that escape the story of the poet herself, and which direct our attention to the essence of otherness in general – and to the essence of art. (…) Papusza’s tone is far from patronizing, the film challenges stereotypes and prejudices, but it also shows that we can only come closer to the 'other', Roma, side, to a certain extent.
More than Biography
On the website Nonsolocinema.com, the reviewer Massimo Tria writes: "Krauze collaborates with two of the best cinematographers from the well-known Polish Film School; he takes advantage of the black-and-white footage by Krzysztof Ptak, and creates a story on the verge of a folk tale." The exceptional work done by Ptak and Staroń has also been appreciated by the Screen Daily’s reviewer Dan Fainaru, who argues that they managed to craft one of the most spectacular black-and-white features of world cinema in recent years.
Still from "Papusza", dir. Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze, photo by: Krzysztof Ptak/next-film
Michał Hernes on the Stopklatka.pl website writes: "Imagery is accompanied by the subtle soundtrack of Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz, which at times resembles the sounds of nature [...] This tale, thanks to the filmmakers Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze, bears the potential of helping many people in changing their opinion about the Roma and their culture".
The Festival in Karlovy Vary ends on 6th July. Papusza is among the leading candidates for the event’s Main Competition winners.
Sources: PISF, Gazeta.pl, Stopklatka.pl, Nonsolocinema.com, Totalfilm.cz, Ogginotizie.it, Rzeczpospolita, Sceen Daily. Ed. BS. 03.07.2013. Translated by AM
The Italian and Czech reviews translated via www.pisf.pl