SILENT MOVIES WITH LIVE MUSIC / „Miracle at the Vistula” (1921), music by Paweł Szamburski
silent movie shows with live music are accompanying NMW's Shouting: Poland! Independence 1918 exhibition
Novelty at the National Museum in Warsaw! Silent movies with live music
Epically directed Miracle at the Vistula (1921) was a blockbuster of its time. The movie shows a love story in the aftermath of events not long passed – the Polish-Soviet War. Miracle at the Vistula features A-list celebrities and was viewed by many. Main roles were cast with legendary Jerzy Leszczyński, Wincenty Rapacki, Edmund Gasiński, as well as a just rising movie star Jadwiga Smosarska.
Miracle at the Vistula will come to life thanks to music by Paweł Szamburski – an excellent clarinetist, composer, soundtrack creator for many theatre shows, radio plays and silent movies. It will truly be a feast for eyes and ears.
The movie will have English subtitles.
Kino Muz / free admission / limited number of seats / ca. 60 min
ABOUT THE MOVIE
Miracle at the Vistula, Poland 1921, director: Ryszard Bolesławski
An epic patriotic drama, initially consisting of two parts, illustrating episodes of the Polish-Soviet war. The film was produced at the request of the Department of Propaganda of the Ministry of Military Affairs and skillfully made by the actor and director of the Moscow Art Theatre, later a highly acknowledged Hollywood artist. Due to the fact that the subject of the film was relevant and deeply emotional for many and due to the superb cast, the film was a huge success among Polish audiences. The film starts on Christmas Eve in 1919 at the Granowski family’s mansion on the eastern borderlands of Poland. The daughter of peasant Maciej Wieruń is a ward of the Granowskis. She is in love with their son Jerzy and the feeling is mutual. On Christmas Eve the family gathers at the dinner table. Jerzy is eager to visit his fiancée at her father’s house where everybody is also engaged in Christmas preparations. In the preserved fragment of the film a different romantic plot thread comes to the fore – doctor Jan Powada, who works at a Warsaw hospital, falls in love with Ewa – the daughter of Piotr, a caretaker. By o stroke of fate they both save Wojtek’s, the youngest son of the Granowskis, life. The grateful family invites Ewa and the doctor to their manor in Kręzy. However the war with the Soviet invader intrudes the peaceful lives of the characters. An agitator Jan Rudy tries to cause disturbance in Kręzy. Doctor Powada serves at a field hospital. In order to reach him, Ewa wades through the frontline in a soldier’s uniform. In a secluded cottage she meets a travelling troupe of actors, which she joins. Accidentally they encounter a Polish army unit in which Antoś, who is unhappily in love with Ewa, serves. The comedians and soldiers jointly devise a clever, and ultimately successful, plan of an attack on the Soviets. Ewa finally reaches doctor Powada’s field hospital, and so does the wounded Jan Rudy, who later dies from a gunshot. The protagonists are saved from certain death when a Polish unit comes to the rescue. After many dramatic events, the course of war is drastically changed as a result of the successful attack of Polish soldiers on the Soviets in September 1920. The scene of the charge of Polish troops led by valiant priest Jan Skorupka has been preserved. After the war ends the couples can finally walk down the aisle. The final scenes include archival records of Józef Piłsudski being given a marshal’s baton on 14th November 1920.
(National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute)
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Clarinetist, composer, soundtrack creator for many theatre shows, radio plays and silent movies. Szamburski is a musician with close ties to the Warsaw Lado ABC scene. He studied cultural anthropology and musicology at the Warsaw University. Szamburski creates or co-creates such bands as SzaZa, Lost Education, Ircha Clarinet Quartet and Bastarda. He performed with many excellent musicians such as Maria Răducanu, Alan Bern, Frank London, Harold Rubin, David Krakauer, Franz Hautzinger, Raphael Rogiński, Marcin Masecki, Candelaria Saenz Valiente, Patryk Zakrocki, Macio Moretti, Mikołaj Trzaska, Wacław Zimpel, Michał Górczyński, Hubert Zemler, Maciej Trifonidis.
On stage Szamburski most often uses clarinet, his voice and electronic effects. He creates looped, hypnotizing compositions.