Pod gwiazdą frygijską

Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz

Pod gwiazdą frygijską/Under the Phrygian Star  is a film depicting the later fate of Szczęsny, the main protagonist in Cellulose, who opposed the Sanation movement in pre-War Poland, as a member of the Communist Party of Poland.

In the film, we observe street protests and the work of underground print shops, as well as the denouncing and executing of agitators. The other parallel narration in the film is a love affair between Szczęsny and Madzia, a party activist, played by Lucyna Winnicka.

Włocławek as portrayed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz

Włocławek is the place of residence for the main protagonist.
The locations in Włocławek shown in the film include the former Cellulose Factory and the railway station.


  • The Cellulose-Paper Factory (named after Julian Marchlewski, during the Polish People’s Republic) used to be one of the symbols of Włocławek.  It was commonly referred to as  “The Cellulose”,  and became particularly popular, after which have been made (with parts of them filmed in Włocławek itself):  Cellulose  and  Under the Phrygian Star.
  • Lucyna Winnicka was the muse and wife of Jerzy Kawalerowicz. She performed in several of his films, including  Matka Joanna od Aniołów/Mother Joan of the Angels  and  Pociąg/Night Train , to name but two.
  • Czesław Petelski helped Jerzy Kawalerowicz to find the appropriate actress for  Under the Phrygian Star . He chose from among students of the Aleksander Zelwerowicz National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw.
  • From 1926, Newerly was a close associate of Doctor Janusz Korczak, his secretary, and the editor-in-chief of  Mały Przegląd , a magazine for children.
  • Seweryn Kruszyński, the cinematographer for the film, was a soldier of the Polish Home Army (AK) working for the Office of Photography and Film at the Department of Mobilisation Propaganda ( Rój ). During the Warsaw Uprising, he was a member of the film crew responsible for filming the battle for Śródmieście.
  • In  Cellulose  and  Under the Phrygian Star , two outstanding Polish actors, Bronisław Pawlik and Ludwik Benoit, each were having one of their first performances on the screen.
  • In addition, the film features Jerzy Antczak, who plays one of the workers in the film. Later on, Jerzy Antczak transformed into a brilliant film Director, who created the TV series  Noce i dnie/Nights and Days  and the film  Pragnienie miłości Chopin: Desire for Love, among others.

Information on the film

Pod gwiazdą frygijską / Under the Phrygian Star

Poland 1954, 112′

Directed by: Jerzy Kawalerowicz

Screenplay: Igor Newerly, Jerzy Kawalerowicz

Cinematography: Seweryn Kruszyński

Music: Stanisław Skrowaczewski

Produced by: Wytwórnia Filmów Fabularnych (Łódź)

Cast: Józef Nowak, Lucyna Winnicka, Stanisław Jasiukiewicz, Halina Przybylska, Zofia Perczyńska, Stanisław Milski, Bronisław Pawlik, and others.

Selected Awards

Karlovy Vary IFF The Fight for Social Progress Award for Jerzy Kawalerowicz; Nagroda Państwowa I stopnia (The State Award in the First Degree) for Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Nagroda Państwowa II stopnia (The State Award in the Second Degree) for Stanisław Milski and Józef Nowak; and a Special Mention for Lucyna Winnicka.