Raindance Pic(k)s: Festival Programmers’ Film Suggestions for Lockdown – Polish Films

If you're a movie buff, it's easy to fill all the long, long hours that corona virus suddenly gave us (always look at the good side of life, right?). Watch a few films; and then watch something. What may not be that easy is navigating through all of the content that is now available online. Trying to find something worth seeing.

Let's help Those who have been to the Raindance Film Festival already know our expert curatorial decisions when it comes to the best independent films. Now, with our personal list of indie and arthouse gems, we want to help you choose your next great movie to watch at home. These are films that have impressed us, Raindance programmers. Every two weeks there will be a new list with a new film category, genre or topic to guide you through the next few weeks.

If you liked or didn't like our suggestions and would like to discuss the selection or receive other suggestions on topics that are close to your heart, just send us an email:

Malaika Bova & Martyna Szmytkowska
Since we last wrote about our attitude towards British cinema, this time we thought it would be good to introduce you to the cinema of our own countries. Today it will be our favorite Polish films and in two weeks it will be Italian cinema.

Everyone knows Polanski, Holland, Kieslowski and of course they are great, but Polish cinema offers a lot more. Filmmaking flourished under communism to fight the regime, but so few of these brilliant films are known to a non-Polish audience. Likewise, in recent years there has been a steady increase in new talents and original stories that have not received the attention they deserve outside of Poland. Check out this week's recommendations and you'll understand what I'm talking about.

Martyna's recommendations

The cruise

Dir.Marek Piwowski, 1970

The cruise shows the absurdity of life under the communist regime in the form of a funny comedy; I laugh my head off every time I look at it and believe I have seen it many times. One of the most famous cult films in Poland; it never really made it abroad. This could be due to his very specific kind of language-based humor or simply because he couldn't escape the Iron Curtain at the time of its release. Check it out and let me know if you love it as much as the Poles.

Available on Youtube

All those sleepless nights

Michał Marczak, 2016

As one of the highlights of the Raindance Film Festival 2016, this is one of the best Polish films in recent years. The experimental film blurs the line between documentary and narrative fiction. As a result, we get a fresh and unique portrait of the youth and all these Warsaw party nights, which are characterized by self-enjoyment and fun as well as philosophy and human relationships. It is both light and heavy. Watch it and watch other films by director Michał Marczak.

Available on Amazon

Malaika's recommendations

Cold War

Paweł Pawlikowski 2018

This is a passionate love story with or without you, revealed against the backdrop of the Cold War. The breathtaking cinematography is the background for a beautiful, intense acting. A tight and provocative watch. However, what impresses me the most is the deep sense of storytelling, which is able to convey levels of meaning through a fascinating plot.

Available on Amazon UK


Andrzej Wajda 2009

Oscar Katyn has been nominated for the best foreign film and is the true horrible story of how 15,000 officers of the Polish army were massacred by the Russian KGB at the end of World War II. An episode that wiped out many of the brightest generations, including Wajda's father. This film is the director's brave immersion in his personal story and one of the most painful secrets in the country.

Available on Amazon UK

Other rain dance pictures (k) s

Documentary | Queer | Romance | Feel-good films | Dark humor Absurdities | Women | UK films

About Martyna Szmytkowska & Malaika Bova

Raindance's lead programmer and program manager, Martyna, has been involved in curating the Raindance Film Festival lineup since 2013. In her previous life before Raindance, she was a talent agent in one of the leading Polish talent agencies. She has an MA in film history and theory.

Malaika has been a programmer and program manager for Raindance since 2017. Previously, she worked as a TV producer on ABC News, BBC and Fremantle Media and programmed the Italian Film Festival in London for five years.


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