Moral anxiety - Half a century of polish film
The title of our series – Moral anxiety – is, in a stricter sense, the designation of an important period of Polish filmmaking: it refers to the films made between 1976 and 1981 raising rather tough, moral questions of the era. In a broader sense, the name refers to the tendency of Polish filmmakers to address these moral questions in a straightforward, powerful manner, and to not shun the issue of moral responsibility. The notions at the core of these moral issues keep recurring: the transition of generations, identity, the role of the intellectual class, a head-on facing of the past, the relation of the individual and the power, etc. The same is true for Polish literature.
While Polish filmmaking of the era shows remarkable similarities to Hungarian cinema, it takes a different approach to the dilemmas of history and identity. Hungarian filmmakers showed a tendency to reach for the tools of grotesque and allegories – ways of „saying things in a different way”. The main objective of our series showcasing the past 50 years of Polish film is to highlight these differences. To show the films which, instead of resorting to metaphors, asked their questions directly, even by provoking the State Machine, making it very clear that it was not at all easier to be a Pole in that era than a Hungarian.