M/A/D | Vancity Theatre Screening
The last feature of the late, great director Andrzej Wajda, one of the titans of European cinema, Afterimage is a poignant and enraging story about injustice; about the destruction of an individual by totalitarianism. Set in post-World War II Communist Poland, it portrays a world in which beauty, art and artistic integrity are persecuted.
Painter and author Wladyslaw Strzemiński was a legend of modern art, the most famous of the Polish formalists before World War II, and a co-creator of a unique avant-garde art collection in Lodz. Afterimage (the title referring to one of his revolutionary theories) traces his outspoken resistance to the social realism sanctioned by the Stalinist regime as the only accepted artistic style and how he suffers for his principles.
"Afterimage is as elegantly assembled as all of Wajda’s work: beautifully lit, tastefully art-directed, and handsomely shot by Pawel Edelman, who was Oscar-nominated for his work on Polanski’s The Pianist. Ablaze with abstract expressionist designs, the credits sequences are witty and colorful. The decision to use music by the late Andrzej Panufnik is also inspired. Panufnik was a modernist composer who defected from Poland to escape the same stifling climate of Socialist Realism that ruined Strzeminski." Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter