15 user 48 critic

Afterimage (2016)

Powidoki (original title)
1:43 | Trailer
The story of charismatic painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski, who opposed social realism and maintained his own artistic freedom in spite of political obstacles.


Andrzej Wajda


Andrzej Wajda (idea), Andrzej Mularczyk (screenplay)
1 win & 12 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Boguslaw Linda ... Wladyslaw Strzeminski
Zofia Wichlacz ... Hania
Bronislawa Zamachowska Bronislawa Zamachowska ... Nika Strzeminska
Andrzej Konopka ... 'Personal' in PWSSP
Krzysztof Pieczynski ... Julian Przybos
Mariusz Bonaszewski ... Madejski
Szymon Bobrowski ... Wlodzimierz Sokorski
Aleksander Fabisiak ... Rajner
Paulina Galazka ... Wasinska
Irena Melcer Irena Melcer ... Jadzia
Tomasz Chodorowski Tomasz Chodorowski ... Tomek
Filip Gurlacz Filip Gurlacz ... Konrad
Mateusz Rusin ... Stefan
Mateusz Rzezniczak ... Mateusz
Tomasz Wlosok ... Roman
Learn more

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Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Did You Know?


Final film directed by Andrzej Wajda. See more »


Wladyslaw Strzeminski: They praise the ones who suck up. They're silent about the real artists.
Julian Przybos: I spoke about this with Milosz. He also believes that an artist who can't speak with a full voice should be silent. Artists can be killed in two ways: either by talking about them too much or not at all.
See more »


References Man of Marble (1977) See more »


Autumn Music
Written by Andrzej Panufnik
Performed by Narodowa Orkiestra Symfoniczna Polskiego Radia w Katowicach
Conducted by Piotr Komorowski
See more »

User Reviews

Wajda as convincing as he was at the of 50!
12 October 2016 | by rlychowskiSee all my reviews

Amazing feat: at the age of 90 Andrzej Wajda is as convincing as he was at the age of 50! Exceptional cinematography: Marek Edelman as excellent as ever. Outstanding acting: Bogoslaw Linda a good bet for best acting. A very good script: keeping balance between the inevitably highbrow dialogues on art and unexpected turns of action. And example for this can be the end of a potential "love affair", which does not end on a romantic note but strikes hard with the brutal abducting of a beautiful girl. Who, by the way, is not the central romantic character. On the contrary, the "great love" remains invisible and is only made romantically visible by white flowers that turn blue. What could more lyrically stress the importance of color in life? By the way, that end of the "love story" is not a harsh rejection, as it may seem, but rather proves that the artist was really fond of the young girl and, nobly, would not allow her to wretch her life at his side.

The film is about the cruelty of the Stalinist period and how it intervened and interfered in the private lives of the common citizen and all the more so in the sphere of art, which "had to serve the people and the final victory of socialism". There are no throats being cut, people being shot or hanged. No spanking. Everything takes place in and "orderly way", for strict rules must be followed. Or perhaps only almost always! This reminds us of Kieslowski's film about killing or the thick atmosphere of Arthur Koestler's "Darkness at noon". Little by little art, i.e. the protagonist, is being suffocated. It is like cutting his veins, but not at once, slowly, in slow motion. Let him bleed to death, but "naturally". That was really a very hard time and Andrzej Wajda knows what he is talking about, for he experienced it "on his own skin", as you say in Polish. A symbolic image summarizes the pic: the window in the artist's dwelling is suddenly veiled by a red banner. A painter can somehow bear poverty, but can he survive without light? Brushes, paint? Wajda's choice of the actor (Boguslaw Linda) to embody Wladyslaw Strzeminski, one of the great Polish artists and art professors of that period, was fundamental to the artistic value of the picture. Bearing also in mind the fact that he had to play a cripple, who had lost two limbs, certainly made his acting even more daunting. And the outcome is certainly impressive.

Another factor that helps sooth the dreariness of the artist's predicaments is the strong presence of the teenager actress (Bronislawa Zamachowska) who plays his daughter. Her seemingly matter of fact reactions to reality and only rare expressions of deeper feelings function as a balance between the drama we witness and the everyday chores or the mere sipping of tea. "There are holes in my shoes" or "You smoke too much". His adoring students, on the other hand, may represent what was left of hope in those days. Their solidarity with the aging, crippled professor was an omen of better times to come, for who can defeat youth? And who can defeat art? The material shabbiness of those times, when "all were equal, but some were more equal than others", with food rationing, very poor dwellings etc. is shown in detail. Some viewers used to cinematic tangibility may not appreciate some of Wajda's discreet, very subtle hints and symbolic images, but, no doubt, in artistic terms this pic is a comeback to his heydays.

Rio Film Festival 8th October, 2016 Tomasz Lychowski

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Release Date:

13 January 2017 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Afterimage See more »

Filming Locations:

Lódz, Lódzkie, Poland See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,832, 21 May 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Atmos



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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