Polish success at Venice film festival
PR dla Zagranicy
A Polish-directed documentary entitled The Prince and the Dybbuk has won the top prize for best Documentary on Cinema at the 74th Venice International Film Festival.
Michał Waszyński, 1931. Photo: By Anonymous (NAC) [Public domain], Wikimedia Commons
Directed by Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski, the film traces the extraordinary artistic career of Polish filmmaker and producer Michał Waszyński (1904-1965), who was known as “the prince” on account of his impeccable manners.
Waszyński was a prolific film director in prewar Poland, with almost 40 features to his name, including the Yiddish-language film Dybbuk.
Born in Kowel, now northwestern Ukraine, into a Polish Jewish family as Moshe Waks, he converted to Catholicism. During World War II, he joined the Polish Army of Gen. Władysław Anders and became a member of its film unit, catching on camera the 1944 Battle of Monte Cassino. He later married an Italian countess, directed Italian movies, and produced Hollywood films starring the likes of Claudia Cardinale and Sophia Loren.
The Prince and the Dybbuk is a Polish-German co-production whose Polish title is Książę i dybuk. The film’s Venice screening was its international premiere. (mk/gs/pk)