Canisius Presents Polish Film Festival, Art Exhibit And Book Fair

October 18, 2012



The Permanent Chair of Polish Culture at Canisius College, in conjunction with the Polish Legacy Project, presents Buffalo’s first Polish Film Festival, Art Exhibit and Book Fair from November 7 – 19. Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise specified.

The event kicks off with “Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin, a lecture by Timothy Snyder, PhD, on Wednesday, November 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Regis Room of the Richard E. Winter Student Center

Snyder’s talk is co-sponsored by the Kosciuszko Foundation, WNY Division, The Canisius College Department of History, and the Yale Alumni Association of Western New York. 

“Bloodlands” is a new kind of European history, which presents the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred, in the lands between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power.

Snyder is the Bird White Housum Professor of History at Yale University. He specializes in the political history of central and eastern Europe. He is the author of five award-winning books (all of which have been translated): Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (1998); The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (2003); Sketches from a Secret War : A Polish Artist’s Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (2005); The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (2008); and Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010). Bloodlands won five awards including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities and the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, and has been translated into more than 20 languages.

Snyder holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford, where he was a British Marshall Scholar at Balliol College, and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University. He has also held fellowships in Paris, Warsaw, and at Harvard University, where he was an Academy Scholar. 

Path to Glory (2011), directed by Jen Miller and Sophie Pegrum, will be screened on Monday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Regis Room on the second floor of the Richard E. Winter ’42 Student Center.  The beautifully filmed documentary traces the epic story of the illustrious Polish Arabian Horse, the unlikely triumphant saga of how a beleaguered nation rose up to the pinnacle of Arabian Horse breeding.

The Polish Legacy Book Fair will be held in the Montante Cultural Center from Thursday, November 15-Saturday, November 17 from 1 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, November 18 from

4:00 p.m. -6 p.m. at the Market Arcade Theatre, 639 Main St., Buffalo. Books and DVDs of Polish and Polish-American culture, history, and culinary arts will be available for sale. There will also be an art exhibit and sale that features works by Polish-born artist Andzej Kozyra.

Festival Events for Thursday, November 15 – Montante Cultural Center 

  • Andrew Bienkowski and Mary Akers, co-authors of One Life to Give: A Path to Finding Yourself by Helping Others, will discuss their book at 1 p.m. Finding Yourself is based on the experiences of Bienkowski, who survived exile from his Polish homeland to Soviet Siberia. He also incorporates his professional work as a psychotherapist. Akers is a published author whose book of short stories won the 2010 Independent Publisher of the Year Award.  At 2 p.m.,  Bienkowski and Akers will present a workshop entitled, “Writing Together: The Many Sides of Co-Authorship.”       
  • Wesley Adamczyk, a survivor of Soviet labor camps and author of When God Looked the Other Way, will present a workshop entitled “Writing From the Heart” at 3:30 p.m. Adamczyk will share his insights about writing one’s memoirs either for professional publication or to leave a legacy for one’s family. 
  • A festival reception will be held at 7:00 p.m. Guests are invited to browse the selection of books and DVDs, view the art and exhibit and sale which features works by Polish-born artist Andzej Kozyra, who studied at the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts in the studio of Jan Szancenbach. 
  • Argentinian Lesson (2011), a documentary film directed by Wojciech Staron, will be screened at

7:30 p.m. The film focuses on the director’s 8 year-old son, Janek, who moves with his parents to Argentina. Janek finds himself in a foreign country and immersed in an unknown language. He slowly learns about the world around him by befriending 11 year-old Marcia. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and free for students.   

  • Decrescendo (2011), a film directed by Maria Minorowicz, will be screened at 9 p.m. The world of a nursing home is revealed through the eyes of a young therapist. While he is looks after the residents, the therapist feels the inescapability of his own death and tries to find the meaning of his own life. 

Festival Events for Friday, November 16 – Montante Cultural Center

  • Wesley Adamczyk presents “Living in the Shadows of Katyn,” a lecture and power point presentation at 6 p.m. Adamczyk’s presentation is about one family’s 10-year odyssey through multiple continents and countries, and the horrors of the Katyn Massacre,of which Adamczyk’s father was a victim. 
  • Battle of Warsaw 1920 (2011), a film directed by Jerzy Hoffman, will be screened at 7:30 p.m. (in Polish with English subtitles). The movie tells the story of Poland’s winning battle against Soviet Russia as seen through the eyes of Ola, a Warsaw cabaret dancer, and Jan, a cavalry officer and poet who believes in social ideals.

Festival Events for Saturday, November 17-Montante Cultural Center 

  • Poet and author Krysia Jopek presents a workshop entitled “Getting Your Work Published in the Current Literary Marketplace” at 4:30 p.m. Jopek, who is the daughter of Polish World War II survivors, will discuss her award-winning debut novel, “Maps and Shadows: One Family’s Story of Siberian Deportation and the Aftermath,” at 6 p.m.
  • 80 Million (2011), a film directed by Waldemar Krzstek, will be screened at 7:30 p.m. (Polish with English subtitles). The movie presents the Polish struggle against communism. Set in Wroclaw, the events depicted took place ten days before the imposition of martial law in 1981. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for seniors and free for students.

Festival Events for Sunday, November 18 - Market Arcade Theatre, 639 Main St., Buffalo

  • Control Sample (2012), a film directed by Jakub Polakowski, will be screened at 6:00 p.m. (Polish with English subtitles). Poles of various social statuses who live in four cities of Western Europe reply to five thought-provoking questions about values and the condition of the young generation of Poles.
  • In Darkness (2011), Oscar-nominated film directed by Agnieszka Holland, will be screened at

6:30 p.m. (Polish with English subtitles). Set in 1943 as the Lwow ghetto is being liquidated by the Nazis, the movie tells the story of one man’s rescue of Jewish refugees and their life hiding in the sewers. Tickets are $10.  

Festival Events for Monday, November 19 – Regis Room, Richard E. Winter ’42 Student Center

  • Award-winning poet John Guzlowski, PhD, will present a workshop entitled, “The Art of Listening: Writing Poems and Stories on Family.” Guzlowski will share his strategies to use family conversations and childhood memories in writing. 
  • Siege, an 11-minute film by photojournalist Julien Bryan, will be screened at 7:00 p.m. Bryan documented the agony of Warsaw as it faced the horror of Hilter’s Blitzkreig in September 1939. Immediately following the screening, Guzlowski will present “Two Lives Shaped by World War II,” which tells the story of his parents and their experiences as slave laborers in Nazi Germany. 

For more information about the festival, contact Mary Lou Wyrobek at (716) 888-5970 or via email at

One of 28 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private college in Western New York.