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Polish Film Festival in America

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The 15th annual Polish Film Festival in America, produced by the Society for Arts, runs Saturday, November 1, through Sunday, November 16. Unless otherwise noted, films are screened from 35-millimeter prints and tickets are $9 at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. Films are projected from video and tickets are $7 at the Society for Arts, 1112 N. Milwaukee. A $40 pass admits you to any five screenings, except for the opening-night program; for more information call 773-486-9612. The schedule for November 1 through 6 follows; a complete schedule through November 16 is available online at www.chicagoreader.com. All films are in Polish with subtitles unless otherwise noted.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1

When the Sun Was God

Jerzy Hoffman's historical epic With Fire and Sword opened the 1999 festival and has been revived in subsequent fests. His new feature is adapted from Jozef I. Kraszewski's novel about the legendary medieval prince Popiel, who conspires to murder his uncles, refuses to bury them, and is eventually devoured by mice. 107 min. Hoffman, codirector Jaroslaw Zamojda, producer Jerzy Michaluk, and actors Malgorzata Foremniak and Andrzej Krukowski will attend the screening. Tickets are $25. (Copernicus Center, 8:00)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2

Body

A two-bit thief carrying a suitcase full of loot from a church boards a train, tries to stow his luggage, and accidentally brains another passenger, killing him. Andrzej Saramonowicz wrote this comedy and codirected with Tomasz Konecki. 99 min. (Copernicus Center, 3:00)

When the Sun Was God

See listing for Saturday, November 1. Codirector Jaroslaw Zamojda and actors Malgorzata Foremniak and Andrzej Krukowski will attend the screening. (Copernicus Center, 5:30)

Edi

An ugly trash picker is recruited by two tough liquor distributors to tutor their 17-year-old sister, whose purity they're protecting by keeping her locked in a house. Piotr Trzaskalski directed this 2002 feature from a script he wrote with Wojciech Lepianka. 100 min. (Copernicus Center, 7:45)

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3

Short documentaries, program one

Grazyna Ogrodowska and Leszek Furman's Edward Gierek: Nobody Asked Me Any Questions, in unsubtitled Polish, is about the former first secretary of the Communist Party in Poland, who following his brief incarceration in the early 80s never again resurfaced in public life. Maciej Drygas's Voice of Hope is about Soviet efforts to block Poles' access to Radio Free Europe in the early 1950s. 92 min. (Society for Arts, 8:00)

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4

Alarm

Dariusz Gajewski made his directorial debut with this 2002 feature, adapted from Helmut Krausser's story "Lederfresse." 67 min. (Society for Arts, 7:00)

Chopper

Writer-director Wieslaw Paluch debuts with this drama about a motorcycle fanatic whose kind aid to a local drunk has unexpected consequences. 80 min. (Copernicus Center, 9:00)

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5

Mr. Virgin

Przemek Angerman directed this 2002 comedy, in unsubtitled Polish, about a lothario trying to help his friend get laid. 90 min. (Copernicus Center, 7:00)

The Woodstock Stop: The Most Impressive Polish Movie

Director Yach Paszkiewicz and concert promoter Jerzy Owsiak collaborated on this document of the 2002 Woodstock Stop, a rock festival in Zary, Poland. 120 min. (Copernicus Center, 9:00)

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 6

Torn

Writer-director Jacek Filipiak makes his feature debut with this unsubtitled feature about an abused child under foster care. 96 min. (Copernicus Center, 7:00)

Touch Me

The screenplay for this Dogma-certifiable feature is credited to directors Anna Jadowska and Ewa Stankiewicz, but its loosely interwoven story lines could easily pass for a succession of improv exercises. In one a handsome young cop falls for a haggard older woman after being called to her apartment to investigate a domestic dispute; the other chronicles the aimless days and nights of two shiftless young boors recently fired from their gig as infomercial pitchmen. Except for the cop, the male characters are all callous, violent, and conspicuously undersexed in their relations with women, but the women are drawn to them anyway. The acting is good and the film succeeds at casting a pall, but the larger point eluded me. 90 min. To be shown by video projection. (Cliff Doerksen) (Copernicus Center, 9:00)

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