It is not easy to write a review of a film such as Baczyński and not get tangled in pathos and big words. The WW II is a topic still alive in modern Polish cinema, but it is also a very ungrateful one. Each and evey attempt to picture it entails a wave of radical opinions, both positive and negative. Fortunately, the creators of Baczyński have found an individual approach to this tricky topic and have portrayed the life of the great Polish poet Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, who fought and died in the Warsaw Uprising, from an interesting and artistic perspective.
Kordian Piwowarski's film has moved me deeply. In this case minimum of means resulted in reaching the maximum effect. Hearing Baczyński's poems read by young Poles to celebrate his 90th birthday anniversary, the viewer knows how do the characters in the film feel. The dialogues are rather scarce but they are entwined with beautiful, artistic pictures. Add to the whole the remarkable Mateusz Kosciukiewicz in the leading role and we end up with a little masterpiece.
The film has also educational merits. Is is a fictionalized documentary and I am sure it would perfectly fit to the curriculum of Polish or history lessons. There are dates, names, archival photographs and genuine film footage from the time of war. Everything is served in a very dense and approachable way. Such films teach more than a standard textbook.
Some critics argue that the young actors do not feel comfortable in this historical-war convention, but I have to disagree. Kościukiewcz, as well as Katarzyna Zawadzka, have created a full scale characters. Let us not forget that the film lasts for 70 minutes, so in my opinion the creators of Baczyński deserve a big round of applause.
Director: Kordian Piwowarski
Cast: Mateusz Kościukiewicz, Katarzyna Zawadzka