From Powiśle

Short documentary trip through Warsaw’s Powiśle district in 1958. Original title: Z Powiśla


Uncleared rubble and other war-time devastations compose the bulk of this short, which isn’t a bad film but isn’t an especially recommendable one, either. The compositions and editing are assured. The voice-over—as sometimes happens with Karabasz—strives for poetry, arrives at pretension (shots of pigeons against the sky). The point that there’s wasteland and backwardness within sight of central Warsaw is well taken, but made more forcefully in another docu-short form the same year: Jan Dmowski and Bohdan Kosiński’s City on the Islands. In the film’s best scene, the lives of hospital patients lounging, damaged, in the urban sun are suddenly lifted by the sight of a beautiful girl riding past in a speeding train. Smiles; and then she’s gone.

He came From Powiśle but settled elsewhere.

Kazimierz Karabasz, 1958


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