“The Wedding”: a Polish movie

WeddingCouchsurfing in the UK this summer, we spent time in Wales with some fun Poles.  Wesele (“The Wedding”), 2004 by director Wojtek Smarzowski, was one of their recommendations for Polish films I should watch (see wiki).

I did not enjoy the movie and would not recommend it. They told me it was about a stereotypical Polish wedding — so that part was educational. But that wedding and the side stories were about a culture of Vodka, bribery, meaningless tradition and sexually-erotic wedding games.  All cultural elements that I detest.  The movie made me want to never visit Poland. I rarely write negative reviews, but thought it would be a good exercise.

I’ve added it in my “other” category in my index of film reviews, because I can’t imagine watching another Polish film very soon, unless someone can recommend a Polish film that matches my tastes.


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5 responses to ““The Wedding”: a Polish movie

  1. I think you are wrong in drawing a quick conclusion about Poland and Polish films based on a sample of size 1. I’ve been to Poland many times and like the country and the people (overabundance of Catholicism excluded). Exceptions exist, even in paradise…
    While I was reading your post, the film “fat Greek wedding” came to mind, a film which I haven’t seen, and do not wish to see, because of all stupid stereotypes about Greek Americans (with a dose of truth, I’m afraid). Several people keep talking about the film so I feel I’ve seen enough…
    Have you seen Kieślowski’s three films, Blue, Red, White?
    See here.

  2. Yeah, Takis, that was a hyperbole, of course. The movie pissed me off so much, that I just wrote like that. No, I have not seen Kieslowski films, do you recommend them?

  3. Yes, I do.
    Of course, our likes and dislikes depend on so many factors: age, mood, environment, etc. At the time (early 90’s), Kieslowski’s trilogy was supposed to represent the spirit of a united Europe. 20 years later we see that this has failed. But there was optimism back then, not least because of the collapse of Soviet Union. According to this sitethe trilogy (Red, White, Blue) is number 14 among the 100 best films of world cinema.

    Another Polish film I recommend, by a famous director called Andrzej Wajda, is Katyn. Review here and my take on it on my blog here.

    I’m sad now. Up until 4 years ago, when I lived in Edinburgh, I used to go to the cinema at least once a week. Great place for films of any kind. Here in Sweden it’s very hard to find anything worth seeing. Most cinemas are loaded with the worst kind of Hollywood crap (the good ones don’t make it). So, no cinema for me.

  4. Takis, I must tell you, I love every Pole that I have ever met. Perhaps I have been very lucky, for I certainly don’t say that about all nationalities. And I know I have extremely narrow experiences.

    I actually never judge a nation as a whole too easily — nor do I a religion, as you know. The post was meant as a hyperbolic judgement of the film.

    Also, you should know that my wife is of Polish extract — her grandparents were Polish immigrants in a small Pennsylvania coal mining town. My wife never speaks but of great respect of her grandmother, and all family members speak horribly of her vodka-slugging abusive husband.

    Takis, thank you for recommendations. I added “Blue” and Katyn to my list. I imagine you don’t have the equivalent of “netflix” in Sweden. I can watch the movies of the world, right from my own home — I love it.

    Thanx again for the comments

  5. Sabio, Yes, I understand. I couldn’t imagine that you, of all people, would take a stereotype seriously. I appreciate your input: I will not see the movie!

    Indeed, the Poles (in general) are nice people. They are willing to share. And that I appreciate. And miss. Sharing, in the lands where I live, is almost prohibited by law (in general–notable exceptions exist!)

    There is something equivalent to netflix here, but the problem is that I love the experience of going to a cinema. Meanwhile, what I do here–because I like movies–is to try to watch old films in youtube. I am not too skilled in downloading them from file sharing sites (too much hassle for me), so I only watch what’s legal. And I’ve found some surprisingly good films on youtube. For example, have you seen Yasujiro Ozu’s “Good Morning” from 1961? See it, before it gets deleted. How about “Black Narcissus” from 1947? A real masterpiece. Especially for you, the last one. See them before they go.

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