Sportsmen without a cause in Polish films of ‘Small Stabilisation’

Mazierska, Ewa Hanna orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4385-8264 (2016) Sportsmen without a cause in Polish films of ‘Small Stabilisation’. Studies in Eastern European Cinema, 8 (1). pp. 19-33. ISSN 2040-350X

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Polish cinema of the 1960s includes a cluster of films with sportsmen in the main roles. Among them are Walkower (Walkover, 1965) by Jerzy Skolimowski, Jutro Meksyk (Tomorrow Mexico, 1966) by Aleksander Ścibor-Rylski and Jowita (1967) by Janusz Morgenstern. This article argues that, although they concern sportsmen, their protagonists are not particularly interested in winning competitions and we do not see in these films much in terms of sport activities. Sport is rather used to highlight the fact that during the period when these films were made it was possible to resist the pressure to do something good for one's country and exert oneself, and enjoy the ‘small stabilisation’. The filmmakers ultimately endorse such an attitude to life, by suggesting that those who are very ambitious (represented by coaches in two films) are anachronisms, harking back to the previous periods of Polish history and cinema.

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