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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 10Jews in Early Modern Poland$
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Gershon David Hundert

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774310

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774310.001.0001

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Walls and Frontiers: Polish Cinema’s Portrayal of Polish–Jewish Relations

Walls and Frontiers: Polish Cinema’s Portrayal of Polish–Jewish Relations

(p.221) Walls and Frontiers: Polish Cinema’s Portrayal of Polish–Jewish Relations
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 10

Paul Coates

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes the portrayal of Polish–Jewish relations in Polish cinema. There are several obvious points at which one might begin to consider the treatment of Polish–Jewish relations in the films of People's Poland and in the Polish Republic, still in its infancy. One might ‘begin at the beginning’ with The Last Stop (1948), Wanda Jakubowska's sobering portrait of concentration camp life; with the first film to touch on the subject by Poland's leading post-war director, Andrzej Wajda, Samson (1961); or with Wojciech Has's neglected The Hour-Glass Sanatorium (1972), a reverie on the work of Bruno Schulz. Another potential starting-point might be Wajda's The Wedding (1972). The chapter focuses on Wajda's The Promised Land (1974). The interest in Polish–Jewish relations displayed by this film marks the first stirring of a theme to be amplified in subsequent years by the Flying University and then Solidarity: the need to claw back from the state the image of a more inclusive pre-war society. Among the things included in that society, of course, had been a large and enormously significant Jewish community.

Keywords:   Polish–Jewish relations, Polish cinema, Poland, Polish Republic, Wanda Jakubowska, Andrzej Wajda, Wojciech Has, The Promised Land, Jewish community

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