2018, Rainbow Releasing, 115 min, USA, Dir: Henry Jaglom

A compelling love story that shows how compassion and intolerance can intersect, Henry Jaglom’s new film is based on actual events that occurred to the writer-director’s father while traveling through Poland in 1928. With anti-Semitism rife in much of Europe, a successful Russian businessman (Mike Falkow) takes a train to Warsaw and meets a captivating young Polish army nurse (Tanna Frederick). But he is Jewish, and faces a life-changing dilemma when he discovers that the nurse he is drawn to - and who is enchanted by him - is fiercely anti-Semitic. The actual train ride across Poland, and the weekend stopover in the resort town of Zakopané that followed, haunted Jaglom's father for a lifetime.

2017, 108 min, Poland, Dir: Lukasz Palkowski

Previously known as THE FASTEST, this uplifting biopic about one man’s remarkable transformation tells the true story of Jerzy Gorski, former junkie turned athletic champion. After spending 13 years struggling with heroin addiction, Gorski underwent intense physical and mental rehabilitation to become Poland’s Double Ironman World Champion. Director Lukasz Palkowski spares none of the gritty details in this realistic yet inspiring account of Gorski’s journey. The film was a major blockbuster in its native Poland, as well as winning Best Production Design and Best Debut Actor (actress Kamila Kaminska) at the Polish Film Awards.

2016, 105 min, Croatia, Dir: Hana Jušić

Echoing early Todd Solondz and Aki Kaurismäki, this humanist character study never wallows in its depressive subject matter or misses a chance for mordant humor. Mia Petričević stars as a 24-year-old woman who becomes the sole breadwinner for her poverty-stricken family after its patriarch has a stroke. Ultimately a tale of interdependence and our protagonist’s sexual awakening and newfound freedom from generational, psychological and physical abuse, PLATE serves up a uniquely nonjudgmental and compelling story of how we’re all just trying to survive and find happiness as best we can. Winner of six awards at the Pula Film Festival, including Best Director and Best Actress.

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