Polish Film School

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Polish Film School (Polish: Polska Szkoła Filmowa) refers to an informal group of Polish film directors and screenplay writers active between 1955 and approximately 1963.

The group was under heavy influence of Italian neorealists. It took advantage of the liberal changes in Poland after the 1956 to portray the complexity of Polish history during World War II and German occupation. Among the most important topics were the generation of former Home Army soldiers and their role in post-war Poland and the national tragedies like the German concentration camps and the Warsaw Uprising. The political changes allowed the group to speak more openly of the recent history of Poland. However, the rule of censorship was still strong when it comes to history after 1945 and there were very few films on the contemporary events. This marked the major difference between the members of the Polish Film School and Italian neorealists.

The Polish Film School was the first to underline the national character of Poles and one of the first artistic movements in Central Europe to openly oppose the official guidelines of Socialist realism. The members of the movement tend to underline the role of individual as opposed to collectivity. There were two trends within the movement: young directors such as Andrzej Wajda generally studied the idea of heroism, while another group (the most notable being Andrzej Munk) analysed the Polish character via irony, humor and a dissection of national myths.

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