Screening: The Palace

Talk Friday 22 February 2013, 7:00 PM

The screening will be introduced by Urszula Chowaniec, Ph.D., specialist in Polish literature and culture, who will contextualise the special position of The Palace of Culture and Science in Polish society.

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The Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw was a despised gift from Stalin and after the fall of communism, some suggested pulling it down. Today, the palace is still standing, and is home to a theatre, a concert hall, a cinema, a swimming pool, and hundreds of offices.

Director Tomasz Wolski takes us on a cinematic journey through what is more than just a building: The Palace of Culture and Science is both a reflection of Poland’s everyday life and its rich history. Wolski also shows how the building is kept alive, how the Soviet machines are still working 50 years on.

The Palace text

Urszula Chowaniec, Ph.D., teaches at University College London School of Slavonic and East European Studies, where she is also head of  eMigrating Lanscapes, a project on literary and artistic representations of emigration. She is currently writing a book on the notion of displacement as seen in literature in post-communist Poland.

Directed by Tomasz Wolski
Duration: 82′
Year: 2012

The evening will start with the short film Returns (PL)


On 10 April 2010, one of the most important dates in modern Polish history, 96 people, including the Polish president and government representatives died in a plane crash near Smolensk. They were on their way to Russia to participate in a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, the mass murder of Polish officers carried out by the NKVD. Returns shows the preparations for the commemoration ceremony, resulting in a film as surreal as the events themselves.

Directed by Krzystof Kadlubowski
Duration: 7′
Year: 2010