Michał Rosa is a director and screenwriter, born in 1953 in Zabrze.
Director and screenwriter. Born in 1953 in Zabrze.
Rosa graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice and from Television and Film Directing at the Faculty of Radio and Television at the University of Silesia in Katowice. The short film Military Games, which, as he later admitted, was his abreaction to a one-year stay in the army, brought him a nomination for the Student Academy Award in 1991.
His full-length debut was Hot Thursday (1993), a drama about three teenagers from Silesia for which he received the Best Début Prize at the Gdynia Film Festival. The film, however, was never shown in cinemas. Nonetheless, his second film, Dye (1997), a contemporary drama with an excellent role by Agnieszka Krukówna for which the actor received the Eagle award, was very well received. The film was also awarded at film festivals in Łagów and Cottbus. His next story about the Polish reality – and at the same time further proof of Rosa’s talent to create charismatic female characters – was Silence (2001). The film about a seemingly serendipitous encounter of two people linked by a past tragedy starred Kinga Preis in the main role – for which she received the Eagle award and Best Female Lead Role award in Gdynia, and Bartosz Opania. The film also received the prize for Best Director in Gdynia, and in Karlovy Vary – the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.
The next film by Michał Rosa was What the Sun Has Seen (2006). The film, whose title was borrowed from a poem by Maria Konopnicka, told a multilayered story about the ills of contemporary Silesia.
While creating convincing psychological portraits – Dominika Kluźniak, Krzysztof Stroiński and the teenage Damian Hryniewicz created great characters – the director talks about lost and rejected people without sentimentality. Instead of offering solutions and diagnoses about the reality, he describes the world and does it without emanating cruelty, and also trying to avoid literalness. After watching this film, we become familiar with a slightly different aspect of life, which we don’t necessarily wish to notice on an everyday basis.
– Dominika Wernikowska wrote. Filmweb, 30.11.2006
The film received the Special Jury Award in Gdynia, the Audience Award at the New York Polish Film Festival, and an award from the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation in Łagów.
In 2008, Rosa made another film, Scratch, which touched on the still relevant and painful problem of collaboration with the Security Service in the Polish People’s Republic, and featured Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieślak and Krzysztof Stroiński, who where both awarded for lead roles in Gdynia as well as at the Eagle Award ceremony.
I am afraid that we lose the feeling of responsibility for our own deeds, our big and small infidelities and disloyalties. We say: everything that is human is normal, we confuse the culprit with the victim. But after all, it would seem that not so long ago people carried a sense of sin, or at least of a moral and psychological discomfort. Nowadays, assessing actions is considered inappropriate. It is said that one person has no right to judge another person’s behaviour. In this situation, I see no other solution than to become a bourgeois author. I know that it sounds terrible, but don’t worry – what I call bourgeois cinema refers to ethical values and rules, regards them as a real thing.
– the director said after the film’s premiere.
This time round, it was Michał Rosa’s script that was awarded in Gdynia. The film was also distinguished in Cottbus, Yerevan, and Batumi.
Rosa also works in television (for example on the telenovela Life Itself and historical series Time of Honour and Bodo) and is furthermore a valued pedagogue: he lectures at the Krzysztof Kieślowski Faculty of Radio and Television at the University of Silesia. He was an artistic supervisor of several short films and over thirty student films.
- 1993 Hot Thursday
- 1997 Dye
- 2001 Silence
- 2006 What the Sun Has Seen
- 2008 Scratch
Ed: NMR, July 2016, transl. AM. August 2016