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.
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.