Różewicz, Stanisław

   A highly respected Polish filmmaker, Różewicz began his career as a second director on films directed by Jan Rybkowski, such as Warsaw Premiere (1950) and First Days (1951). In 1954 he directed his first film, the socialist realist Difficult Love (Trudna miłość). During the Polish School period, Różewicz directed a number of classic war dramas, such as Three Women (Trzy kobiety, 1957), the story of three women who are liberated from a prison camp; Free City (Wolne miasto, 1958), an account of the heroism of the Polish postal workers on the first day of World War II in Gdańsk (Danzig); and The Birth Certificate (Świadectwo urodzenia, 1961), a portrayal of the occupation through the eyes of a child. In 1967 Różewicz made one of his best-known films, Westerplatte (1967), which depicts the September 1939 defense of the Polish garrison at the Westerplatte peninsula near Gdańsk. The film reconstructs the one-week battle in a realistic manner, even incorporating newsreels to avoid romanticizing this habitually mythologized aspect of Polish history.
   Like Three Women and The Birth Certificate, Różewicz also scripted several other films with his brother, the accomplished Polish poet and writer Tadeusz Różewicz (b. 1921). Among the films they wrote together are restrained psychological dramas such as A Place on Earth (Miejsce na ziemi, 1960), Voice from Beyond (Głos z tamtego świata, 1962), Lonely Together (Samotność we dwoje, 1969), and Echo (1964). In the 1970s, Różewicz directed historical films such as The Romantics (Romantyczni, 1970) and Passion (Pasja, 1978), for which he won the Festival of Polish Films. Różewicz returned once again to the reality of World War II in his Leaves Have Fallen (Opadły liście z drzew, 1975) and Lynx (Ryś, 1981).
   Różewicz's 1985 film A Woman with a Hat (Kobieta w kapeluszu), a subtle morality play about a young actress who lives an unfulfilled dream of becoming successful, won the Festival of Polish Films. Apart from unquestionable directorial accomplishments, Różewicz is also the founder and first head of the distinguished film unit (later film studio) Tor (1967-1968 and 1972-1980). In 2001 he received the Lifetime Achievement award granted by the Polish Film Academy.
   Other films: Hell and Heaven (Piekło i niebo, 1966), The Glass Ball (Szklana kula, 1972), The Wicked Gate (Drzwi w murze, 1974), Mrs. Latter's Pension (Pensjapani Latter, 1982), Devil (Diabeł, TV, 1985), An Angel in a Wardrobe (Anioł w szafie, 1988), The Nighttime Guest (Nocny gość, 1990).
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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