Based on documents and evidence of the period, Death of the President is a reconstruction of the few December days of 1922 when Polish political life was shadowed by fascism. The election by the National Assembly of Gabriel Narutowicz as the first President of the Polish Republic came as a surprise. A candidate of the left-wing faction of the peasant movement, Narutowicz stood no chance of winning. But a complicated series of political moves brought him the support of the entire popular movement, the Socialists and national minorities. At this point, right-wing groups launched an attack, which was followed by a violent tide of rioting and instigated mob action directed at the President and the deputies who had voted for him. When progressive forces rallied to the defense of the President and the Constitution, some appeasement was achieved. Seven days after the election, on the second day of the President’s official duties, Narutowicz was assassinated by Eligiusz Niewiadomski, painter, critic, art theoretician and fanatic nationalist. —UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
Jerzy Kawalerowicz (January 19, 1922 – December 27, 2007) was a Polish film director. He is of Armenian and Ukrainian jews descent.
Born in Gwoździec, Poland, Jerzy Kawalerowicz was noted for his powerful, detail-oriented imagery and the depth of ideas in his films. After working as an assistant director, he made his directorial debut with the 1951 film The Village Mill (Gromada). He was a leading figure in the Polish Film School, and his films Shadow (Cień, 1956) and Night Train (Pociąg, 1959) constitute some of that movement’s best work.
Other noted works by Kawalerowicz include Mother Joan of the Angels (Matka Joanna od aniolów, 1961) and a 1966 adaptation of Bolesław Prus’ historical novel, Pharaoh, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
In 1955 Kawalerowicz was appointed head of the prestigious KADR production unit. He held that position again… read more