Comedy vs. Communism: A Retrospective of Polish Cult Comedies from Communist Times
Comedy, according to Sigmund Freud, allows people to express forbidden thoughts. Under communism, this naturally transgressive genre faces an additional hurdle—communist jokes are only funny if everyone gets them. The comedic filmmakers of communist Poland, such as Marek Piwowski and Juliusz Machulski, excelled at their craft. Their films allowed the people not only to laugh at the surreal reality of communist Poland but to understand and critique the shortcomings of the communist system.
Comedy vs. Communism: A Retrospective of Polish Cult Comedies from Communist Times celebrates film as a tool of resistance to totalitarian tyranny and political satire as a means of beginning the process of reestablishing political liberty.
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation hosted virtual film screenings from June 20-27, 2020 followed by a Q&A discussion with Dr. Anna Draniewicz, Research Fellow in VOC’s Poland Studies program in which she answered questions arising from the films and their portrayal of the surreal life in communist Poland.