Kuźmiński, Zbigniew

(1921-2005)
   Film director and scriptwriter. Since 1947 Kuźmiński worked as director's assistant and second director on several films, including Aleksander Ford's classic works: Border Street (1949), Five Boys from Barska Street (1954), and The Teutonic Knights (1960). Since 1950 Kuźmiński had produced documentary films; in 1962 he directed his first narrative film, Silent Traces (Milczące ślady), a suspense drama set in 1946. During his long career, this prolific director worked within different genres. Arguably, he is best known for literary adaptations. For example, he adapted Eliza Orzeszkowa's celebrated Polish novel On the Niemen River (aka On the Banks of Niemen, Nad Niemnem, also a television series), the most popular film in 1987 with six million viewers. At the beginning of his career, Kuźmiński directed several suspense dramas with political overtones, such as Another Shore (Drugi brzeg, 1962), The Descent to Hell (Zejście do piekła, 1966), and Heaven on Earth (Raj na ziemi, 1970). In 1972 he made Top Agent (Agent nr 1, 1972), starring Karol Strasburger as the real-life Polish war superhero Jerzy Szajnowicz-Iwanow.
   An interesting aspect of Kuźmiński's career has to do with films he made about the sea and sailors, something of a rarity in Polish cinema, for example Crab and Joanna (Krab i Joanna, 1980) and Environs of a Quiet Sea (Okolice spokojnego morza, 1981), starring Jan Nowicki and Roman Wilhelmi, respectively. Kuźmiński's filmography also includes action drama A Short Life (Krótkie życie, 1976), set in 1949; war drama A Hundred Horses to a Hundred Shores (Sto koni do stu brzegów, 1978); historical film The Republic of Hope (Republika nadziei, 1986); historical melodrama Desperation (Desperacja, 1988); and a melodrama set among farmers, My Second Marriage (Mój drugi ozenek, 1963), an adaptation of Józef Morton's novel.
   Select other films: The Gang (Banda, 1965), A Crazy Night (Zwariowana noc, 1967), Closer to the Sky Every Day (Co dzień blizej nieba, 1984).
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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