Jerzy Stuhr is an actor, theatre director, film director, and teacher. He is one of Poland's most popular and versatile stage artists. Stuhr was born on April 18th, 1947 in Kraków.
Theatre and film actor director.
Jerzy Stuhr graduated in Polish studies from Jagiellonian University (1970) and from the Acting Department of the State Theatre School in Kraków (1972). As a student, he was involved with Kraków's Teatr STU, and after graduation joined the Stary Theatre in Kraków. One of the first productions he appeared in was Adam Mickiewicz's Forefathers' Eve (originally: Dziady) directed by Konrad Swinarski (1973). Stuhr admitted later that his meeting with this director at the start of his theatre career had been very important:
A Foreigner’s Guide to Polish Theatre
A certain – shall we say – method stayed in me: that my acting would be worth more the more it cost me. Konrad [Swinarski] instilled this definition of professional work in me: the more intimately I speak, the more I force myself into a confession, the more precious it is.
Joanna Walaszek, 'Konrad Swinarski and His Kraków Productions', Warsaw 1991
Usually, you tell jokes about him or anecdotes he features in, but it's worth saying a few serious words about him. To me he seems a rather unique case of an actor in Poland who performs well in all the fields of art he tries; I mean, Stuhr is good in films, and on television, and in theatre. Why is this? I think two elements are decisive that are worth mentioning. The first is technique, excellent technique, mastered to perfection in practically every detail. The other thing, no less important and useful especially in cinema, is his knowledge of reality. Above these two skills, there is his intelligence... Simply put, he understands a great deal of what is happening around him.
Quoted from: Krzysztof Miklaszewski, Twarze Teatru: Jerzy Stuhr', KAW 1981
In Forefathers' Eve Stuhr played the part of Beelzebub – a perfect counterbalance for the character of Konrad. Joanna Walaszek wrote:
Beelzebub enters the historical drama not to delineate the spheres of good and evil, but to instigate, provoke, to show despair.
source: Konrad Swinarski i Jego Krakowskie Inscenizacje, Warsaw 1991
And it was an extremely corporeal way in which Stuhr-Beelzebub united with Konrad-Trela when, in the scene before the exorcisms, he threw himself at Konrad, entwining and seeming to suck in his body.
Collaboration with Falk, Kieślowski, Wajda and Holland
In the 1970's Stuhr created some excellent interpretations in Polish cinema. He played Lutek Danielak in Feliks Falk's Top Dog (originally: Wodzirej, 1977) – an upstart and go-getting parvenu who strives for success ruthlessly though with a certain charm, who is prepared to sacrifice anything for his career. Ryszard Koniczek wrote:
Danielak is everything – a lion and a wolf, a coward and an attacker. Each new situation automatically gets a reaction from him that is effective. Does social imagination not admire this kind of disposition, calling it 'drive'? The frankness and authenticity of all the hero's reactions is an additional form of camouflage, neither calculated nor invented. Drive is a technical, or social engineering term. With his film, Falk gives it a moral as well as a social dimension.
Kino 1978, No. 7
Stuhr began collaborating with Krzysztof Kieślowski quite early on. He appeared in The Scar (originally: Blizna) and The Calm (originally: Spokój) – a film made in 1976 and banned by the censors for four years. He played the part of worker Antoni Gralak, who tries to get his life back on track after leaving prison, and looks for his 'little happiness'. In Camera Buff (originally: Amator) in 1979, Stuhr gave a brilliant performance as supplies officer Filip Mosz – a man with an emerging and maturing need for art. Mosz, an employee of a factory in a town near Krakow, buys a film camera. He captures the life of his family, and later the factory, on film. He is successful, also at the cost of submissiveness and compromise – he submits to the director when he asks him to cut some of the scenes. Stuhr showed the metamorphosis of his character very genuinely, his change from a cowed employee into a self-aware artist, a man able to defend his creative freedom, but at the same time, in the name of responsibility for other people, able to give up his own aspirations.
Another interesting role of Stuhr's in the same period was Ejmont - the history teacher at a small-town secondary school in Feliks Falk's Chance (originally: Szansa, 1979). After morally ambiguous characters – the assistant of director Bednarz in The Scar, reviewer Głosowicz in Agnieszka Holland's Provincial Actors (originally: Aktorzy Prowincjonalni, 1978), and lawyer Porębowicz in Andrzej Wajda's Rough Treatment (originally: Bez Znieczulenia, 1978), in Falk's film Stuhr plays a good man, a humanist – a tenacious man capable of fighting a lonely battle for his ideals.
Cinema of Moral Anxiety
In the 1970's Stuhr became an actor of the 'cinema of moral anxiety' in which the generation of the time found a portrait of themselves. In 1980 Wiktor Woroszylski wrote that there was:
(...) a playing of roles and incarnations linked to one another, overlapping one another and creating not just a biography of the artist but a sign, a picture of something beyond him, of some kind of fate, some kind of situation contemporary with the actor.
Więź, 1980, No. 1
This was the trend in which he also placed Stuhr, while the actor himself admitted:
(...) just three, four years ago I was working quietly in theatre, walking these streets and climbing up all those little [career] rungs. Suddenly, film came along. Overnight, exponentially, the world changed around me. I heard it said that I represented a generation, I noticed myself.
Kino, 1980, No. 2
Stuhr faced a very tough task at the start of his acting career. Two directors with whom he would later work many times, Andrzej Wajda and Jerzy Jarocki, cast him as a replacement in the main parts in their major productions. With Wajda, Stuhr replaced Wojciech Pszoniak in the part of Pyotr Verkhovensky in an adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Devils (1971). In Witkacy's The Mother directed by Jarocki (1972) he was Leon, a part previously played by Marek Walczewski. Both parts played by his predecessors had been hailed as great interpretations, and though many said Stuhr only imitated them, he did present his own interpretation of the character, especially in the part of Verkhovensky.
'Stuhr goes through a whole palette of moods', wrote Krzysztof Miklaszewski, 'from a slyly pretended shyness to an explosion that releases an eruption of visions' (Twarze teatru. Jerzy Stuhr, KAW 1981). Actually, years later Stuhr had to deal with Dostoyevsky's prose transferred to the stage once more when he played Porfiry Petrovich in Andrzej Wajda's production of Crime and Punishment (1984). He and Jerzy Radziwilowicz as Raskolnikov formed a magnificent acting duo.
Janusz Majcherek described Stuhr's Porfiry in the Teatr periodical:
Wajda has two monsters on stage, both different and both equally repulsive. Jerzy Stuhr's Porfiry is an artist of his trade. He is acting, that's certain. Stuhr plays that he is acting, he knows everything from the start, he is fascinated with the game... Stuhr's part is exaggerated at times, but never approaches caricature. That would be too easy. If Porfiry is a clown sometimes, it is coldly calculated. On one level he is acting, on another he is observing himself. The monstrosity is that he does all this for the sheer love of it, he loves his victim with a torturer's love, and his conduct follows the rule 'more enjoyable is the road I travel than my arrival.
Teatr, 1985, No. 1
The part of Porfiry was preceded by other parts in plays directed by Wajda and Jarocki. Stuhr played Wysocki in Stanisław Wyspiański's Noc Listopadowa / November Night (1974) and an AA in Sławomir Mrożek's Emigranci / The Emigrants, (1976) - both directed by Wajda.
Bronisław Mamon wrote about The Emigrants:
The Emigrants is a play of two roles. Wajda has cast two actors of contrasting looks in them. Jerzy Stuhr (AA) is slight, slim, nervous. Jerzy Binczycki (XX) - tall, broad-shouldered, a bit on the heavy side. AA looks like a typical intellectual with all his faults - physical infirmity and an internal over-sensitivity. XX - pure power, the elements, wild nature... This acting concert for two people but one instrument features fragments played forte and piano, vivace and moderato, mostly in a sad key. The two actors are great whenever they charge at each other, and fight with word and axe. AA – hysterical and ironic through an excess of awareness, XX – dangerous in his primaeval strength that destroys everything when it explodes.
Stuhr was also among the cast of a production that was never performed due to the death of its director; this was Hamlet directed by Swinarski. Stuhr was cast as Horatio. In 1981 at the Stary Teatr, Wajda decided to stage the work of the famous Stratfordian, casting Stuhr in the title role first in Hamlet / Scenes and Monologues, and later in the play's complete stage version The Tragedy of Hamlet (originally: Tragiczna Historia Hamleta, 1981). Playing Hamlet, Stuhr extracted all the wit and irony of his character, still he was also able to highlight his flair for acting and stage directing.
'The way Stuhr plays it, simulating madness', noted Krzysztof Miklaszewski, 'becomes a perverse and cruel game; perverse towards himself, cruel towards those around him' (Twarze Teatru: Jerzy Stuhr, KAW 1981).
In 1977 Stuhr met with Krzysztof Kieślowski again, this time at the Stary Teatr where Kieślowski was staging Życiorys (Curriculum Vitae, trans. NS), a play based on his own script. This was the director's take on Poland's post-war history shown through the life of the protagonist, a man called Gralak, presenting his life story before a Party Control Commission. Stuhr's role, opposite Jerzy Trela (Gralak), was that of the new secretary of the works party committee.
'The value of the acting in this modest production', wrote Elżbieta Morawiec, 'is not in any great syntheses, but in the psychological analysis of the characters' (Życie Literackie, 8 January 1978).
Stuhr was also excellent in supporting roles and bit parts – as Yasha in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard directed by Jarocki (1975), and Fikalski in Z Biegiem Lat, z Biegiem Dni (As Years Go By, As Days Go By, trans. NS) according to a script by Joanna Olczak-Ronikier, directed by Wajda and Anna Polony (1978).
Apart from Yasha in The Cherry Orchard Stuhr has other Chekhov parts to his credit – Nikolai in Platonov directed by Bogdan Hussakowski (Television Theatre, 1976), and Trigorin in 10 Portretów z Czajką w Tle (10 Portraits with a Seagull in the Background, trans. NS) based on The Seagull, directed by Jerzy Grzegorzewski (1979).
Krzysztof Miklaszewski wrote:
Stuhr gave each of these characters, but especially Trigorin, the awareness of not having completely fulfilled their life's ideal. And it seemed all they had to do was reach out and things would change. But then it turned out none of them lived in a vacuum, they were entangled in other people's lives which they either failed to fully understand or simply did not accept.
source: Twarze Teatru: Jerzy Stuhr, KAW 1981
The actor also did well in the part of the mayor in the controversial production of Nikolai Gogol's The Inspector-General directed by Jerzy Jarocki (1980). Miklaszewski wrote:
Stuhr's part is fascinating because the actor was able to construct the role using both the world of small everyday mean tricks with which he eliminated his opponents as Danielak in Top Dog, and the dialectics of accepting the metaphysics of evil as the driving force for his conduct in the part of Pyotr Verkhovensky from The Devils.
Teatr, 1981, No. 5
Stuhr's acting, fully revealed in roles such as Porfiry, combines excellent technique and a stage awareness on the one hand, and a psychological 'figuring out' of a character and logical role building on the other. The actor also has excellent powers of observation, he often plays with ironic implied meaning, emotionally and 'rationally' at the same time. Stuhr has said,
I don't want to and cannot lose touch with reality. I only use what I can logically justify. I'm interested in the psychology. And if this sometimes creates some kind of generalization, it's only because I try to gather so many of the minor facts that surround me and put them in my role that suddenly it becomes the symbol of some issue.
Twarze teatru. Jerzy Stuhr, KAW 1981
In film in the 1980's, Stuhr played Maks in Juliusz Machulski's excellent comedy Sexmission (originally: Seksmisja, 1983), and later appeared in King Size (1987) and Deja Vu (1989) by the same director. Sexmission is set in a future where women rule the world after deeming men expandable or 1987's King Size, a story of a dwarf scientist's adventures in the world of "normal people".
In theatre on the other hand, Stuhr worked with Italian theatres from the early 1980's. He received the Italian Critics' Award in 1982, and Nastro d'Argento – the prestigious award of the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists – for best European artist in 1998.
Stuhr had his directing debut in 1985 with Patrick Süskind's The Double Bass, also playing the lead role. The production was a theatrical hit, though many said Stuhr overused his comic temperament and laid on the cheap gags too thick. However, as Andrzej Wanat wrote:
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Playing the double bass, Stuhr gives a great performance as the bassist: showing care, physical effort, reluctance, a weariness that is caused by the crudeness of the double-bass accompaniment, and then - when he's playing the solo part - dedication and pride. And that's marvellous. Before saying a single word, Jerzy Stuhr had said everything about his bassist. After that the performance could be no more than correct.
Teatr, 1986, No. 1
Stuhr stopped his regular collaboration with the Stary Theatre in Kraków in 1991. Before he left, he directed Janusz Glowacki's play Fortynbras się Upił (Fortinbras is Drunk, trans. NS) there. In 2001 he staged Sławomir Mrożek's Wielebni (The Reverends, trans. NS) at this theatre. He did a lot of stage directing from the 1990's, mainly at the Teatr Ludowy in Nowa Huta. His projects there included Witold Gombrowicz's Yvonne, Princess of Burgundy (1990) and Moliere's The Bourgeois Gentleman (1993) – a production in which the director focused on skilfully leading the actors, as well as Shakespeare's plays – The Taming of the Shrew (1991), Macbeth (1995), The Merry Wives of Windsor (1998).
This is what Łukasz Drewniak wrote about Stuhr's ideas for interpreting Shakespeare:
His way of reading the play as a director could be called 'naive', as it consists in refusing to force any a priori philosophical or aesthetic generalizations on the performance. He doesn't use Shakespeare to reflect on the world, neither does the director ask what theatre is with his help. He is more interested in preserving the style, in theatrical pragmatism. He avoids metaphors, theses and digressions not related to achieving theatrical effect and not subordinated to the performer's freedom.
Analysing The Merry Wives of Windsor, Drewniak also noted that Stuhr:
...is trying to find a trace of traditional staging of Shakespeare, something that gets lost in modern experiments. He doesn't judge whether the tradition was good or bad, he simply tests its viability. As a result, he has produced a performance whose intentional anachronism becomes an unquestionable asset.
Tygodnik Powszechny, 1998, No. 44
In the 1990's Stuhr was also strongly involved in teaching. In 1990-1996 he was president of the Kraków Drama School, and was appointed to the same office again in 2002. He was a member of the council for culture affiliated to the Polish president in 1991-1993. His autobiographical book Sercowa Choroba (Disease of the Heart, trans. NS) was published in 1992. He was granted the title of professor of dramatic arts in 1994.
In the beginning of the 2000s, Stuhr directed some performances at the AST National Academy of Theatre Arts in Kraków: Jacques and his Master by Milan Kundera (2002) and 2+2 by Edward Anthony Whitehead (2003). He also directed and played the main role in Shakespeare's Richard III, staged in Ludowy Theatre in Kraków (2005).
In later years Stuhr directed in theatre quite intensely: he staged Polish dramas, such as Ich czworo by Gabriela Zapolska (The Four of Them, trans. NS, 2014, Polonia Theatre) and Na Czworakach (On All Fours, trans. NS) by Tadeusz Różewicz, where he also played Laurenty (2015, Polonia Theatre). In 2016 he directed Don Pasqueale by Gateno Donizetti in the Kraków Opera. In 2017 Stuhr staged Szewcy (Shoemakers, trans. NS) in Kazimierz Dejmek Nowy Theatre in Łódź. He did not slow down a bit in the subsequent years, staging Bal Manekinów (The Ball of Manequinns, trans. NS) by Bruno Jasieński in OCH-Theatre in 2018 and The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini in the Kraków Opera in 2019.
Stuhr as a Film Director
In the 1990s, Stuhr began directing film. His cinematic debut Spis Cudzołożnic (List of Lovers, 1994) was based on the novel by Jerzy Pilch. The film tries to diagnose the present-day awareness of educated Poles in confrontation with the perception of an outsider. The main character, played by Stuhr, is a Jagiellonian University lecturer who plays host to a Swedish guest and shows him around Kraków. Communication between them fails completely. It turns out to be impossible to translate the Polish national experience into language comprehensible to a Swede originating from and brought up in a different faith and culture. Janusz Wróblewski wrote about the film:
We can find in it all the elements that testify to a fresh perception and courage to say serious things (which are, admittedly, often also banal). On the other hand, this is done without pathos, with some detachment.
Życie Warszawy, 1995, No. 4
Stuhr, who had earlier worked with Krzysztof Kieślowski as an actor in his films and as co-writer of the dialogues for The Calm and Camera Buff (Stuhr also wrote dialogues for films such as Feliks Falk's Top Dog and Chance, and he was the author of the script and dialogues for Slawomir Idziak's Seans / The Session), said about his own first film:
Polish Cinema 1989-1999:
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I had never been given the chance to play a member of the intelligentsia, and I felt one. I wanted to tell the story, perhaps for the last time in my film life, of a hero of my generation, to pass on all the things I had picked up in Kieślowski's films in the 1970's, and which I had subsequently tried to present in tones ranging from sharply comic to dramatic.
Życie Warszawy, 1995, No. 4
Stuhr's next film, Love Stories (originally: Historie Miłosne, 1997), was dedicated to Kieślowski. The story is presented in the framework of a modern morality play. Stuhr plays a succession of four versions of the emotional life of a man in the prime of life who stands in an empty Kafkaesque room in front of the anonymous Accountant and reports on his ability to display feelings, his ability to love. Zdzislaw Pietrasik noted that
Each of the four characters experiences his own emotional situations, but these are not four films in one. The story lines are parallel, as if they were different variations of the same life. This risky approach is successful thanks to the clockwork precision of the editing. The acting is another asset of the film...
Polityka, 1997, No. 36
Stuhr made a much stronger attack on a member of the intelligentsia, a man of success this time, in his next film, A Week in the Life of a Man (originally: Tydzień Z Życia Mężczyzny, 1999). This was, as Janusz Wróblewski wrote,
(...) a testimony to the changing mentality of the Polish elite. Just as Lutek Danielak, the Top Dog from Feliks Falk's film, became a symbol of the moral decay of the era of 'the little stabilization and little consumerism', Adam Borowski who is the hero in A Week in the Life of a Man is meant to be a mirror reflecting the dark side of the souls of prominent people from the front pages.
Polityka, 1999, No. 37
Stuhr is very consistent in the way he creates his films, which are cohesive in terms of style and rebellious in their own way, because they pay no attention to modern trends. This is the case with Big Animal (2000). The script was based on a short story by Kazimierz Orłoś that Krzysztof Kieślowski had turned into a script even before his cinema debut. In Big Animal, at an unhurried pace and in black and white, Stuhr speaks warmly of tolerance, sacrifice and "small" heroism. Tadeusz Lubelski wrote:
What we see is the story of a modest bank clerk who makes friends with a camel that wandered into his garden from a travelling circus. It turns out, though, that meeting the demands of this friendship requires him to be stubborn and consistent: you not only have to take the camel for walks... you also have to hang on - for instance, to accept that everyone else will turn away from you. During the screening, Stuhr the actor forced a really strange emotion upon me: for an hour or so, I wanted to have a camel.
Kino, 2000, No. 7/8
The next film directed by Jerzy Stuhr is Tomorrow's Weather (2003) based on the script by Stuhr and Mieczyslaw Herba. This is a political satire, the first film of its kind for Stuhr. As was the case with his other films, he plays the main part himself, and his son, actor Maciej Stuhr, is his screen partner.
Twists of Fate, from 2007, is a story composed of the lives of a few ordinary people: a clever student, his girlfriend and an ex-snitch of the political police. Anita Piotrowska wrote:
Jerzy Stuhr, who was never afraid of taking on the subject of morality, dealt with it swiftly in this part of Twists of Fate. The escape from a life of an ex-snitch of the political police is triggered by his pangs of conscience, as well as his own fear. The character seems to be hunted down by his consciousness which becomes the most severe tribunal for him. Twists of Fate is the first feature film which refers directly to the problem of vetting, and does it very reasonably. It states that there is no place in public life for people who chose to cooperate with the political police for their own profits but others, instead of blaming others, should instead try to investigate into their situation. Maybe the biggest punishment for them is just to stand in front of the mirror every morning?
Tygodnik Powszechny weekly
In 2007, during the Gdynia Film Festival, Jerzy Stuhr received a Golden Lion Award for the Twists of Fate script. Yet critics have accused him of moralizing too much and idealizing the past, which seems for that reason, and against the background of today's demoralized society, to be a paradise lost.
After his work on Twists of Fate was over, Stuhr was forced to take a break from directing due to illness. He did, however, perform in films: Jacek Koprowicz's Mystification (2010) and Let It Be directed by Guido Chiesa, telling the story of Mary, the mother of Christ. In 2011 he appeared in Habemus Papam directed by Nani Moretti. He came back to directing to do one episode of the co-directed film Mundo Invisivel, joining the famous Theodoros Angelopoulos, Manoel de Oliveira, Atom Egoyan, Guy Maddin and Wim Wenders. In 2018 Stuhr played in a film that was a Polish-Swiss-Italian-Albanian co-production: Forgive Us Our Debts (original title: Rimetti a noi i nostri debiti). He was accompanied by another Polish actress: Agnieszka Żulewska.
Stuhr and his son, Maciej, have worked together also in Obywatel (Citizen, trans. NS, 2014), where Maciej plays the title character when he's young, and Jerzy - when he grows older. Actually, Jerzy Stuhr performed a triple role: of director, script-writer and main character. He admitted that his own life experiences inspired him to write the script. The main character – Jan Bratek – is Jerzy Stuhr’s age. His life will be presented to a viewer in the reverse order – from adulthood to early childhood and it will serve as a canvas for presenting the last 60 years of the history of Poland. Stuhr wrote about Poles born after World War II:
There are not many people in Europe who had a life comparably interesting to ours. We started under the portrait of Stalin in the middle of a regime to end up as a free nation going through the times of Solidarność, martial law, the selection of John Paul II, emancipation. It was an extraordinary experience.
Jerzy Stuhr has been a member of the European Film Academy since 1998.
- List of Lovers 1994. Script writer and director: Jerzy Stuhr, dialogues: Jerzy Pilch, Jerzy Stuhr, cinematography: Witold Adamek.
One day Gustaw (Jerzy Stuhr), a Polish studies specialist working at Jagiellonian University, has to show a guest of his Institute - a Swedish humanities scholar - around Krakow. Gustaw tries to have an intellectual discourse with the guest, to tell him about the experience of his generation, but the two men can only exchange observations on personal, emotional lack of fulfilment. The Swede is not interested in Krakow's historic buildings but in girls. Gustaw does his best to please the guest and looks for addresses of women he once knew in an old notebook. It soon turns out they are not the girls they once were, time has taken its toll.
- Love Stories 1997. Script writer and director: Jerzy Stuhr, cinematography: Pawel Edelman.
A film structured like a morality play, presenting four versions of the life of a man aged 50-plus who is recounting his emotional life to the mysterious Accountant. Jerzy Stuhr plays the different characters - a PhD in Polish studies from Warsaw University, a provincial priest, a Polish army colonel, and a suspect businessman-cum-criminal. The stories of the different characters are linked by the motif of love appearing suddenly in the lives of grownup men who have endured a lot in life. A female student falls in love with the PhD, the colonel goes out with a Russian woman, a former love interest he met at the Olympics in Moscow. Hearing confession, the priest meets his daughter. The businessman is faithful to his fiancée Kryska who has caused him a lot of grief. The Kafkaesque Accountant assesses the men. The PhD and the colonel did not follow their hearts, they renounced love. The priest and the businessman came out much better - the priest gave up the priesthood and wanted to devote himself to fatherhood, while the businessman declared he would wait for his unfaithful fiancée who is doing time in prison. The film ends with a scene in which the next person is already waiting to see the Accountant.
- A Week in the Life of a Man 1999. Script writer and director: Jerzy Stuhr, cinematography: Edward Klosinski.
A film about a well-off, educated Polish man, the sought-after lawyer Adam Borowski (Jerzy Stuhr) who is passionate about singing. We are shown seven consecutive days from his life, his successes and failures. He lives with his wife and has a lover he later abandons, but not due to his feelings but because he doesn't have enough money. However, he claims he is back on the straight and narrow and doesn't want to hurt his wife any longer. He gives a sizable sum to charity, but only because it means a tax break for him. His anti-communism is more personal than ideological. The truths and moral judgements he offers are not compatible with his conduct. In the end he manages to overcome his weakness and selfishness. Borowski decides not to buy a house so that he can spend the money on treatment for his ill mother. The film has an ironic motto in the words of the song performed by the choir of which Borowski is a member: "What a piece of work is a man!", from Shakespeare's Hamlet.
- Big Animal 2000. Script: Krzysztof Kieslowski, director: Jerzy Stuhr, cinematography: Pawel Edelman
Mr. Sawicki (Jerzy Stuhr), a respected bank clerk who lives in a small town, appears in the street with a camel one day, causing a sensation. It soon turns out that friendship with a big animal will require Sawicki to make many sacrifices. Sawicki loses the acceptance of the local community, everyone starts to persecute the animal's owner, for example with official injunctions, or - like the local photographer - by trying to use the animal to make money. Sawicki and his wife feel rejected and alone, but their love for the camel grows and they refuse to give up this love.
- Tomorrow's Weather 2003. Script: Jerzy Stuhr and Mieczysław Herba, dialogues: Jerzy Stuhr, cinematography: Edward Klosinski.
Jozef Koziol (Jerzy Stuhr), who was a PE teacher, Solidarity activist and ambulance driver in the 1980's, has lived in a monastery for some years. He took refuge there after a car accident caused by a drunk communist party bigwig. Years later, Koziol leaves the monastery, returns to his family, and finds himself in the middle of the political reality of the Third Republic of Poland. A cascade of absurd events unfolds, problems with the children who are impossible to communicate with, rows with his wife and her new partner. Koziol gets behind the wheel again, this time as the driver of a cynical politician who is running for parliament.
- Korowód 2007. Script: Jerzy Stuhr; cinematography: Bartosz Prokopowicz. A story composed of the lives of a few ordinary people, amongst others, a student Bartka (Kamil Maćkowiak), a crook; his girlfriend Kasia, friend Uli and professor Zdzisław Dąbrowski (Jan Frycz), his wife Irena and their daughter Marynia. The film takes on the subject of peoples actions and conscience, unpredictable coincidences which are often turning points of our lives as well as the topic of truth, which can ruin ones life. Beside the capers of an easy-going student there is a story of a choice (which resulted in cooperating with political police) and its consequences.
- Rewizor/The Government Inspector, 2014 (television theatre). Premiere: 24th of November 2014, Polish National Television Channel 1. Based on the satirical play by Nikolai Gogol. The official premiere took place in October 2014 in Stary Sącz in Lesser Poland - a town in which the film was shot. Stuhr was not only the director, but also played the role of the town Mayor. In 1980, Stuhr played the same role at Kraków's Stary Theatre, in a performance directed by Jerzy Jarocki.
- Obywatel / Citizen, 2014. Script: Jerzy Stuhr, cinematography: Paweł Edelman. The story of Jan Bratek (played by Maciej Stuhr and Jerzy Stuhr), a Polish citizen who happens to live during the most difficult times of Polish history. Bratek is a rappresentative of the first post-war generation, an everyman. The films looks from the distance on Polish faults such as hysteical patriotism, antisemitism and shallow catholicism.
- 1994 - 19th Festival of Polish Feature Films, the Jury's Special Award for List of Lovers and the award for the dialogues of this film (together with Jerzy Pilch);
- 1997 - 22nd Festival of Polish Feature Films - The Golden Lions for Love Stories;
- 1998 - The Silver Film, the award of the Association of Italian Film Critics for Love Stories - the best foreign film presented in Italy;
1998 - 2nd Prize in the 3rd National Competition for Staging of Shakespeare's Drama's for the staging of The Merry Wives of Windsor in the Folk Theatre in Nowa Huta.
2004 – FIPRESCI prize for a film Tomorrow's Weather at the international Film GoEast Film Festival in Wiesbaden, Germany.
Author: Michał Bujanowicz, June 2004, updated: February 2014, update: NMR, May 2016. Latest update: NS, July 2020