PAPCIO CHMIEL

Poland (2020), 50 min.

Directed by Petro Aleksowski

Papcio Chmiel” is a biographical documentary film about the artist’s determination to create comic books – a genre unwanted in communist Poland. The film portrays a man who lives in two worlds – the real and the imaginary, and feels that he missed his chance to become “someone great,” thus prefers to reside in the realm of his imagination as a form of therapy.

The film’s narrative is based on the documentary footage of a 13-year-old Olaf, a huge fan of “Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek,” visiting the artist a number of times. Olaf tries to elicit crumbs of memories out of his idol so that Papcio Chmiel’s detailed portrait can be created. The emotional reading is built upon three interconnected stories. The first one is the protagonist’s self-portrait; the second one – the history of Poland, and the third – how the artist is perceived by others. All three merge in Olaf’s journey to find an answer to the question: what is Papcio Chmiel like? The film’s characters muster up their courage to be completely sincere while talking to the boy.

One unique thread is devoted to the relation between Papcio Chmiel and his daughter, an artist living in the USA, who compliments her dad’s self-portrait with her own memories and opinions, thus revealing the other side of the coin for the viewers.

“Master of Art” Film Festival – Spring edition

April 23, 2021, Cinema G 8, 19:00 h.