80 Million is Polish historical cinema that turns its nose up at the usual pathos and flirts with a variety of genres. Director Waldemar Krzystek delivers a comedy thriller about one of the more unusual episodes of the pro-democracy Solidarity movement’s early years. In 1981, local activists withdraw 80 million złotys from Solidarity’s bank accounts in a bid to stop the government from crippling the movement. The film is an impressively genuine portrayal of communist-era realities in which Krzystek once again shows that he has few equals when recreating powerful mass crowd scenes – the film’s closing sequence, showing a demonstration on Wrocław’s Grunwaldzki Bridge, packs an emotional punch rarely encountered elsewhere in Polish cinema.
Gdynia PFF 2012 – Audience Award
Director Waldemar Krzystek was born in the village of Swobnica, in northwestern Poland in 1953. He completed Polish language studies at the University of Wrocław and graduated in film direction from the University of Silesia in Katowice. He made his feature debut in 1986 with Suspended. His films are frequently set in Silesia. Many depict the town of Legnica, where he spent most of his childhood, as in Little Moscow, for which the director received the Gdynia festival’s Golden Lions award in 2008.
1984 Powinowactwo / Kinship (TV)
1986 W zawieszeniu / Suspended
1992 Zwolnieni z życia / Dismissed From Life
2008 Mała Moskwa / Little Moscow
2011 80 milionów / 80 Million