Representative prose works by leading twentieth-century Polish writers. Polish literature's critique of modern European civilization. The relation of historical memory, collective victimization, and the utopian imagination in Polish literature to political power and national survival.
There are a number of Polish movie directors you may have heard about, like Polanski or Kieslowski, but contemporary Polish cinema is far richer than one might imagine. After the collapse of communism in 1989, movie directors in Poland seriously doubted whether the political change was real and, consequently, they produced a number of action movies, such as The Pigs by Wladyslaw Pasikowski, in which a corrupt and degenerate world ruled by mafia and former members of communist regime was darker than that portrayed in either The Godfather or The Fight Club. Then the artists started to discuss the economic problems Poland had to deal with, which is why Krzysztof Krauze shot The Debt, what may be called a Polish version of American Psycho. Recently Wojciech Smarzowski, a new star of Polish cinema, has dealt in his movies with troubled Polish history, creating works comparable to the Coen brothers’ films. We will discuss all of these movies and many others in the context of contemporary Polish culture and politics. All films have English subtitles.