AFTERIMAGE by Carol Kaufman
Afterimage is a film about a famous Polish painter, Wladyslaw Strzeminski, written by Andrzej Mularczyk and directed by celebrated Polish director Andrzej Wajda. Strzeminski was born in Poland in 1893. The film takes place in post-war Poland.
Strzeminski was a professor at the State Higher School of the Visual Arts which he co-founded in Lodz. He was a great artist who co-created the theory of Unism, a form of Modernism, and was revered by his students. But many things changed in Poland following World War II when the country embraced Socialism. Modernism was out, realism was in.
Strzeminski refused to conform to the new regulations as he believed in freedom of art. Although his students continued to stand by him, he was ultimately dismissed from his job as well as the artists’ union. Without his membership, he was unable to purchase art supplies, and found it difficult to find or keep any type of work he was able to acquire.
As a soldier during World War I, Strzeminski was seriously wounded, ultimately losing an arm and a leg. This disability, along with his inability to earn a decent living found him suffering from starvation and poor health. He eventually collapsed and passed away. He was 52 years old
Wladyslaw Strzeminski is skillfully performed by Polish actor, Boguslaw Linda who, by the way, is not disabled in any way. Nevertheless, in some magical way, he realistically appears as a double amputee. The entire film is exceptionally well-done with a talented cast under the direction of Wajda who, unfortunately, passed away at the age of 90, a month following the world premiere of this, his final film.
Running time: 98 Min.
Playing at Laemmle Theatres