Film locations in Lower Silesia
For less than three weeks – from 18 January to 6 February – a board exhibition will be presented in the northern frontage of Wrocław’s Market Square, bringing closer selected popular film locations in Wrocław and other towns in the region. The exhibition has been prepared by students of the University of Wrocław in cooperation with the “Memory and Future” Centre (Centrum Historii Zajezdnia).
Lower Silesia has been and continues to be a very attractive location for cinematographers. The locations of our region can be seen in over 460 films. A special role on the film map of Lower Silesia is played by Wrocław, the city where the Wrocław Feature Film Studio (WFF) operated from 1953/1954 to 2011. It was the home of a plethora of outstanding directors, actors, cinematographers and production designers. It was here that several hundred films were made, many of which now form part of the canon of Polish filmography. For several years now, we have been observing great interest in the history of cinematography and ‘film tourism’.
All of these factors led students of public history at the University of Wrocław, under the supervision of dr hab. Wojciech Kucharski, to present the richness of film sets and the stories behind them in an exhibition entitled Lower Silesian film locations. The authors of the exhibition built a narrative based on the scheme “between the city and the region”, so in addition to Wrocław, which undoubtedly dominates the Lower Silesian film space, the creators of the exhibition also noticed the presence of Bolków, Bożków, Bystrzyca Kłodzka (a particularly popular location for many directors), Czernica, Dobrzykowice, Lubomierz, Kłodzko, Sucha (Czocha Castle), Szklarska Poręba and Wambierzyce. The young students of history not only showed the places used by the filmmakers, but also tried to understand the motivation of the filmmakers and the interactions between them and the spaces shown in their works.
The exhibition juxtaposes stills and film stills with contemporary photographs of film locations. As prof. Joanna Nowosielska-Sobel, a historian from the University of Wrocław and author of the introduction to the exhibition, noted: “The choice of Lower Silesia as a film set was determined – and invariably is to this day – by various considerations, led by the richness of the natural and cultural landscape, while during the PRL era the remoteness from the authorities in Warsaw was decisive. Relatively rarely do Wrocław and other towns appear in films under their own names, but they fill the fictional picture with their own original content and cannot be reduced to mere scenery. At the same time, through their participation in film productions, these localities themselves step out of the roles assigned to them by the realities of the time, gaining a new context. The fictional images, portraying the changing landscape of the region, are an original record of its historical reality”.
The 20 boards present 16 films and series shot in Lower Silesia: 9 in Wrocław and 7 in other locations:
– “Pętla” – Barlickiego Street, Garbary Street and Pasaż Niepolda in Wrocław;
– “Eve wants to sleep” – pl. Uniwersytecki, pl. Jana Pawła II, most Zwierzyniecki in Wrocław;
– “Ashes and Diamonds” – Nasypowa Street, Andersa Hill, St. Barbara Church in Wrocław;
-“Parting” – Wrocław Psie Pole railway station, Xawery Dunikowski boulevard, the Multimedia Fountain by the Centennial Hall in Wrocław;
– “More at stake than life” – Wrocław Główny train station – Wrocław Główny railway station, Chrobry bridges, Ostrów Tumski in Wrocław;
– “Anatomy of Love” – Tumski Bridge, Xawery Dunikowski Boulevard in Wrocław;
-“80 million” – Grunwaldzki Bridge in Wrocław;
– “Bridge of Spies” – Kurkowa Street, Ptasia Street in Wrocław;
– “Nobody calls” – Holy Trinity Column, entrance to a tenement house, bridge on Kolejowa Street in Bystrzyca Kłodzka;
– “Droga na Zachód” – Szklarska Poręba Dolna railway station, Szklarska Poręba Górna railway station, viaduct over the Bóbr river in Jelenia Góra;
– “Where is the General…” – Czocha Castle in Sucha;
– “The First Day of Freedom” – market square, stairs at Kościelna Street and Przyjaciół Street in Bystrzyca Kłodzka, bridge over the Młynówka Canal in Kłodzko;
– “Sami swoi” – the Czernica Wrocławska railway station, a farm and a house in Dobrzykowice;
-“Dreszcze” – the palace in Bożków;
– “Wielki Szu” – the chapel of St. James, the Basilica of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Pilgrim’s House in Wambierzyce;
– “The Witcher” – castle in Bolków.
Prepared in Polish and English, the board exhibition will be on display in Wrocław’s Market Square from 18 January to 6 February 2023. After that, it will stand on the square next to the Centrum Historii Zajezdnia at ul. Grabiszyńska 184.
Translated by Katarzyna Dorodna (student of English Studies at the University of Wrocław) as part of the translation practice.