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Land of Promise

/ Ziemia Obiecana /

5 May 2010


Price: £4.5 / £3.5 conc.

Main Auditorium,
Exeter Phoenix

Director: Andrzej Wajda
Screenplay: (based on the novel of the same title by W. Reymont, Literary Nobel holder) Andrzej Wajda
Director of photography: Witold Sobociński, Edward Kłosiński, Wacław Dybowski
Music: Wojciech Kilar
Actors: Daniel Olbrychski, Wojciech Pszoniak, Andrzej Seweryn, Anna Nehrebecka, Tadeusz Białoszczyński, Bożena Dykiel, Franciszek Pieczka, Andrzej Szalawski, Kalina Jędrusik, Stanisław Igar

Awards (selection) Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, 1976
Golden Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival, 1975
Golden Medal at Moscow International Film Festival, 1975

This event is organized in collaboration with Exeter Film Society.


Monumental, rich epic of the sweeping changes in values and material life brought on by the industrial revolution’s rather late arrival in Poland. At the turn of the century, Lódź, Poland was a quick-paced manufacturing center for textiles, replete with cutthroat industrialists and unsafe working conditions.
Three young friends, a Pole, a Jew and a German, pool their money together to build a factory. The movie follows their ruthless pursuit of fortune. Praiseworthy in its physical scope, masterful direction, and fine acting. The recreation of a nearly-century-old city is agonizing in its scale and thoroughness.

Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda adapted his 1975 effort Land of Promise (Ziemia Obiecana) from an 1897 novel by Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont. The story concerns three Polish laborers of vastly different social, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. Unlike many of their recalcitrant contemporaries, the three men are able to overcome their differences and work together. Eventually they create and manage a textile factory, founded upon the edicts of equality, trust, and respect. By concentrating on three individuals, Wajda is able to reflect Poland's 19th century ascension from ancient feudalism to modern capitalism. But this is no sugar-coated "beating the odds" saga; Wajda makes it clear that with progress comes sacrifice and heartache.

Video Clip