The ninth annual edition of the Polish Film Festival, produced by the Society for Arts, runs from Saturday, November 1, through Tuesday, November 11. Film and video screenings will be at the Gateway Movie Theatre, Copernicus Foundation, 5216 W. Lawrence. Tickets for most programs are $7, $6 for Society of Arts members. Tickets for the opening night on Saturday are $15, and tickets for video presentations are $4. Festival passes, good for 15 screenings (excluding opening night) are $75. For more information call 773-486-9612.


The Dark Side of Venus

Radoslaw Piwowarski, a protege of Andrzej Wajda, wrote and directed this tale of sexual jealousy. A symphony conductor’s wife learns of his affair with a young girl and is drawn into an exploration of perverse fantasy, eventually taking a lover of her own. With Agnieszka Wagner, Jan Englert, Pawel Delag, and Anna Przybylska. On the same program, Piotr Kielar’s autobiographical short Dad From America. Piwowarski will attend the screening. (6:45)


Visit Me in My Dream

A mother of three who writes children’s literature is killed in an accident; the remainder of Teresa Kotlarczyk’s 1996 fantasy parallels the mother’s existence in heaven, described as “a kind of storeroom,” with her family’s struggle to live without her. With Danuta Stenka, Zbigniew Zamachowski, and Ewa Gawryluk. (2:00)

Love Stories

Jerzy Stuhr wrote, directed, and plays the lead roles in a quartet of intertwining episodes, each exploring the subject of love. Stuhr is a priest who learns that he has a 13-year-old daughter, an army colonel who tries to revive his relationship with an old flame from Russia, a professor whose student proclaims her love for him, and an imprisoned thief who blackmails–and is blackmailed by–his lover. Stuhr’s costar Katarzyna Figura will attend the screening. (4:00)


Maciej Dejczer (300 Miles to Heaven) directed this drama about smuggling and other clandestine activities inside a children’s hospital in Romania. With Til Schweiger, Polly Walker, and Pete Postlethwaite. (6:00)

Happy New York

A comedy-drama about six Poles who immigrate to the U.S. and find themselves isolated from their familial and cultural roots. Directed by Janusz Zaorski; with Boguslaw Linda, Cezary Pazura, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Katarzyna Figura, and Janusz Gajos. Agnieszka Holland (The Secret Garden, Washington Square) will attend the screening to accept the festival’s Wings award for international accomplishment by a Polish filmmaker. (8:00)


Deceptive Charm

A scientific researcher, his marriage falling apart because of money problems, stumbles into the high-paying job of personal secretary to a “millionaire homosexual.” Directed by Krzysztof Zanussi (Brother of Our God); with Zbigniew Zapaslewicz, Maciej Robakiewicz, and Katarzyna Herman. (6:45)

Special Video Program 1

Three short films, none of them subtitled: Marek Piwowski’s The Step, Grzegorz Skurski’s The Lovers of Morag (1996), and Pawel Lozinski’s Slawomir Mrozek Presents. (7:05)

The Trap

Adek Drabinski directed this comedy- thriller about a small-time actor who, returning to Poland after 12 years in the U.S., finds himself unemployed, ridden with gambling debts, and pursued by gangsters. Filmed partly in Chicago; with Joanna Benda, Boguslaw Linda, Zbigniew Zamachowski, and Leon Niemczyk. (8:45)


Unwritten Rules

Krzysztof Zanussi directed this story of a young driver who gets involved with an investment firm headed by a duplicitous businesswoman. On the same program, Zanussi’s 1996 film Little Faith, about a mother and father’s differing reactions to the possibility that their son might have cancer. (6:45)

Special Video Program 2

Two short films from 1996: Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz’s Bonk-a-Bonk and Konrad Szolajski’s A New Tale of a Real Man. (7:05)


Eugeniusz Priwieziencew’s debut film is about a 20-year-old girl with a drunken father and an illegimate child; inspired by a successful friend, she ventures into a life of high-class prostitution but is quickly pulled into the streets. With Katarzyna Figura, Agnieszka Fitkau-Perepeczko, and Zuzanna Paluch. Figura will attend the screening. (8:45)


Heart Is Singing

Krzysztof Zanussi directed this tale of an aspiring tenor whose big chance, a New Year’s Day concert, is almost thwarted when he ventures out into the rain to help an older neighbor and loses his voice. With Jacek Laszczkowski, Maria Kocialkowska, Kazimierz Kord, and Dominika Ostalowska. (6:45)

Special Video Program 3

Three short documentaries from 1996: Marcin Latallo’s A Trace, about filmmaker Stanislaw Latallo; Hanna Kramarczuk’s Guru, about a drug treatment center; and Pawel Woldan’s Citizens, a parody of the mass media constructed from interviews at a horse market. (7:05)


An action comedy about a cabdriver who’s mistaken for an internationally notorious hit man and finds himself growing into the role. Directed by Juliusz Machulski; with Cezary Pazura, Malgorzata Kozuchowska, Jerzy Stuhr, Janusz Rewinski, and Katarzyna Figura. Figura will attend the screening. (8:45)



Pawel Lozinski’s 1996 debut follows an old pensioner and a young boy thrown together by their common desire for a 500-franc note that a tourist has accidentally dropped through a sewer grate. On the same program, Lozinski’s A Hundred Years in Cinema (1996), a study of Polish cinema as seen and remembered by common people. (6:45)

Special Video Program 1

See listing for Monday, November 3. (7:05)

Love Stories

See listing for Sunday, November 2. (9:00)

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): The Dark Side of Venus.