Archive of films Papusza / Papusza

2013, 131 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2013

Bronisława Wajs (1908–1987), known as Papusza, is the world’s most famous Romany poet. Her life in Poland is swathed in mystery, and her talent for writing poetry brought her fame. Her own people, however, cursed her for having betrayed the secrets of ancient Romany culture and customs.


Romany poet Bronisława Wajs (1908-1987), known as Papusza, is a Polish legend. Instead of attempting a classical biographical piece, the filmmakers bring to life events that were important both for the destiny of this talented woman, and for the modern history of her ethnic group. The black-and-white photography conjures up a poetic and, in places, raw testimony of the regions travelled by the Romanies before the Second World War and immediately after it. The film also treats the decline of their best traditions, and the physical and moral deprivation they suffered after being forced to abandon their nomadic existence. Although Papusza at various stages of her life remains the focus of the story, it is not until the latter half of the movie that fragments are pieced together to form a picture of her youth, her unhappy marriage, her character and also her custom of setting down her experiences and feelings in verse on scraps of paper. The film moves between several time planes which, while requiring vigilance from the audience, makes for a compelling evocation of the personal tragedy of a woman whose poetic gift brought her fame, but also damnation.

About the director

Krzysztof Krauze (b. 1953, Warsaw) studied photography in Łodż (1978) and worked as a director for both Se-Ma-For and Irzykowski studios, and also with TOR (1985-91). For his feature debut New York, 4 AM (1988) he won the Bronze Lion at the festival in Gdansk, where he later won the Special Jury Prize for Street Games (1996). He won a series of awards for The Debt (1999) – Golden Lions and the Critics’ Award in Gdynia, the Eagle Award for Best Direction and Screenplay of the Year, and Best Direction at the Philadelphia IFF. He enjoyed international success (incl. the Crystal Globe at KVIFF 2005 and a Golden Hugo at the Chicago IFF) for My Nikifor (2004), co-written with his wife Joanna Kos-Krauze (b. 1972, Olsztyn), who also co-wrote and co-directed the films Savior’s Square (2005 – Golden Lions at Gdynia and competition screening at KVIFF 2007) and Papusza (2013).


New Europe Film Sales
Czerniakowska 73/79, 00-718, Warsaw
Tel: +48 600 173 205

About the film

Black & white, DCP
World premiere

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze
Screenplay: Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze
Dir. of Photography: Krzysztof Ptak, Wojciech Staroń
Music: Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz
Editor: Krzysztof Szpetmański
Producer: Lambros Ziotas
Production: Argomedia
Cast: Jowita Budnik, Antoni Pawlicki, Zbigniew Waleryś
Contact: New Europe Film Sales


Joanna Kos-Krauze

Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter

Jan Naszewski

Sales Agent

Katarzyna Siniarska

Sales Agent

Jowita Budnik


Antoni Pawlicki


Zbigniew Waleryś


Lambros Ziotas



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