Polish Film Festival

5 films to watch at the Ekran Polish Film Festival

The third annual Ekran Polish Film Festival starts tonight at the Revue Cinema in Roncesvalles. The focus of this festival is on quality rather than quantity, so while there aren't dozens of films to choose from, the selections all come highly recommended. I won't be able to spend the entire weekend there, so I've narrowed down the list to my top five.

Wonderful Summer (October 21, 8:00pm)
Wonderful Summer is a romantic comedy about a young girl who can communicate with the dead. More specifically, she communicates with her mother's ghost who is visiting her on a mission to help her discover true love. The director will be in attendance for a question and answer session following the screening.

The Officer's Wife (October 22, 1:00pm)

The Officer's Wife is a fascinating story that slowly unravels after a man discovers his grandmother's memoirs. In this documentary, he talks about the overwhelming evidence linking his family to the largely suppressed Katyn Massacre. His grandmother had been an officer's wife, but after her husband died in the massacre, she remarried. This is a detective story and historical memoir rolled into one.

Tomorrow Will Be Better (October 22, 9:00pm)
Tomorrow Will Be Better tells the story of three homeless Russian boys who decide to sneak into Poland, dreaming of a better life on the other side of the border. After their dangerous cross-border mission, the kids find a police officer and demand that he take them in. It turns out, however, that the cop is on the fence about whether or not he should offer his help. Drama ensues.

Joanna (October 22, 6:30pm)

Co-presented with the Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Joanna is a tale about a woman who decided to take in an abandoned Jewish girl during WWII. The young girl's mother has been abducted, so Joanna sleeps with a German officer to get protection for her and the little girl. Her family members — involved with the Polish fighting underground — find out what she's done and decide to punish her for this relationship, despite its pragmatic and altruistic underpinnings.

Erratum (October 23, 6:30pm
Michal, the protagonist of Erratum has a good family life and a high level job in an accounting firm when his boss sends him to his hometown to pick up a car. While there, he decides to try and reconnect with his estranged father. Their encounter ends in conflict, and he then spends the rest of his time in town bumping into old friends and family. As the past draws him into its web, the question becomes will it envelop him in a life of unfulfilled promise?

In addition to the screenings, Ekran also has an art installation set up outside the theatre, and they've promised to supply pierogi, krokiets, and my personal fave, borsh!

The Ekran Toronto Polish Film Festival runs from October 21-23 at the Revue Cinema. Individual tickets can be purchased for $12 online or $15 at the door.

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