Of the Polish People's Republic and its memory in Polish film

Renata Murawska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Polish People’s Republic expired in 1989. Since then, the newly democratised Polish state and its film industry have survived the initial chaos of collapsing communist structures and institutions, then a time of bitter disappointment with new social and economic realities, and a period of intense self-questioning before and also after joining the European Union. Finally, at the start of the 21st century, the post-communist Third Republic of Poland and its film industry reached economic clarity that allowed for an unprecedented increase in government funding for film production in 2005. The Polish People’s Republic, which is also fondly referred to in Poland as the “PRL,” has become for more and more Polish people a mythical place, an inexhaustible source of stories told to amused children and grandchildren. At the same time, for the majority of Polish society that outlived the PRL, the communist past of Poland was not part of a mythical and, therefore, “higher” plane of life. It was an everyday life experience. Yet the normality of that experience is difficult to find in Polish films made after 1989. Most of these films emphasize the punishing qualities of the regime, and various aspects of its absurdity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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