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Poland, 1979 (MIFF 1980, Programme 12)

Director: Krzsystof Kieslowski

The Polish cinema has produced new directors in recent years who have started to make films in which one can find some genuine and positive contemporary social criticism. Led by Krzysztof Zanussi, a set of new talents has emerged that is winning prizes and audiences around the world.

Camera Buff concerns a little man who is happy in his work until the day he acquires an 8 mm camera to record the first years of his new baby. Since his is the only camera in the little town, he naturally becomes official chronicler of the factory. His films win prizes in amateur contests and spur him on to new creative heights. His success brings him into collision with society. The factory's bureaucrats reveal to him, in microcosm, the evolutionary processes of censorship, destructive dogma and social rules.

"The best film so far at the Moscow festival comes from Poland with an exhilarating subtlety and a crafty sense of satire, which few years ago would have been unthinkable. For the satire in Krzysztof Kieslowski's Camera Buff is critical, not only of the cult of making films aimed at film festivals, but also of an Eastern bloc regime which is frightened of being photographed.

What gives a specially piquant flavour to this charming, witty and ultimately serious study of a naive young husband obsessed by the fun (and the frame) to be had from a movie camera, is the way it leaves the political, social and moral issues to our imagination.

... it puts Mr Kieslowski in the front rank of new film directors." Eric Shorter, The Daily Telegraph.

Krzysztof Kieslowski - Born 1941.

Graduate of Lodz Film School.

Feature films - Pedestrian Subway (1973), Personnel (1975), The Scar (1976), Camera Buff (1979)

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