Castro TheatreTue, Jul 30, 2013 8:55 PM Not Available
Cinearts at Palo Alto SquareSun, Aug 4, 2013 8:35 PM Not Available
California TheatreThu, Aug 8, 2013 6:30 PM Not Available
Film Info
Director(s):Wladyslaw Pasikowski
Year of Production:2012
Running Time:107
Language(s):Polish with English subtitles
Categories:WWII and Beyond
Premiere Status:North American Premiere
Genre-Subject:WWII and Beyond

In the opening scenes of this contemporary thriller, a hard-nosed Polish Catholic construction worker from Chicago pays a visit to his family’s farm in Poland only to find that his brother is being mysteriously threatened and shunned by local townspeople. What follows is a gothic tale of intrigue as the combative brothers are drawn inexorably into investigating the village’s dark secrets about its long deceased Jewish residents. While the story of Aftermath is entirely fictional, its writer/director has drawn loosely from notorious incidents that befell Jewish villagers in Jedwabne during World War II. As such it is probably unprecedented: a high-profile feature film from Poland daring to raise the taboo topic of Polish indifference to—or outright complicity in—the Nazi persecution of Polish Jews. (The preferred narratives under communism presented Poland, which lost more than 2 million non-Jews among its 5 million destroyed by the war, as unilaterally victimized and occasionally heroic in hiding Jews.) Now some historians and Polish artists are shedding more complex, albeit embarrassing light onto Polish-Jewish relations. No wonder Aftermath, which also unabashedly depicts everyday anti-Semitism in today’s Poland, is already controversial there: denounced by nationalists as unpatriotic, but also hailed as an important and compelling corrective in the ongoing self-critique of postwar Europe. —Peter L. Stein 2013

2013 Jan Karski Eagle award
Producer Dariusz Jablonski in person in San Francisco.


Additional Information

Wladyslaw Pasikowski: Polish director and screenwriter. Born in 1959 in Lódz. He graduated in cultural studies from the University of Lódz and in directing from the Lódz Film School. His first feature film Kroll (1991) won the best debut award and the Jury Special Prize at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. His crime thrillers Pigs (1992) and Pigs 2 (1994) were a huge box-office success. Pasikowski won the best director award at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia for Pigs (1992) and Bitter-Sweet (1996). He is also the director of two seasons of the crime TV series Glina (The Cop; 2004-08), acclaimed by critics as the best Polish crime series ever. He has directed stage plays as well. He is the author of the science fiction novel Ja, Gelerth (I, Gelerth) which was nominated for the Janusz A. Zajdel Award (1993). He is the co-writer of Andrzej Wajda's Katyn (2007).