ALEKSANDER FORD RETROSPECTIVE: Five Boys from Barska Street
dir. Aleksander Ford , Poland, 1954, 110min
The drama of a generation that grew up during the war and cannot find their bearings in the new moral order. Warsaw, a ruined city in which the underground still provides an outlet for young men habituated to war, is also a place where deep feelings surface. The motion picture is one of the first films featuring Tadeusz Łomnicki.
SPECIAL EVENT: ALEKSANDER FORD RETROSPECTIVE
Aleksander Ford - a man of contradiction. A pre-war socialist, he became a protege of the communist regime after the war. Highly regarded for his outstanding artistic achievements (his Piątka z ulicy Barskiej received the Jury Prize in Cannes), he was the first to have adapted Sienkiewicz for the screen. In 1960, he made a grand-scale production of Krzyżacy (Knights of the Teutonic Order), a work that became nearly as important for Poles as Mickiewicz’s Pan Tadeusz.
Ford was born in Łódź as Mosze Lifszyc. For two decades he taught at the Film School in Łódź, where his students included Andrzej Wajda and Roman Polański. He made over twenty films and built the institutional base of Polish cinematography. At the same time, he was known as the Colonel - his works were often shelved, but he also censored the films of his colleagues, blocking ideas and holding back scripts.
After the antisemitic purge of 1968 - 45 years ago - he was barred from creative work. He left the country a year later. It was often said that he would have been one of the fathers of Hollywood had he left for the United States in the 1920s - but at the beginning of the 70s he could hardly find his place there. He committed suicide in Florida in 1980.