Jan Banas may not be a well-known name in the USA, save for fans of European soccer, but that is no bar to appreciation of this thrilling biopic by Polish filmmaker and DFF tribute guest Jan Kidawa-Blonski.
Born in Germany toward the end of World War II, Banas—or Bubi, as he was later known—went on to become a soccer legend in his adopted Poland. (He's still alive, as shown in a poignant clip at film’s end.) One of those individuals for whom life and times seem oddly interwoven, Banas experienced successes and failures of all kinds against the backdrop of the Communist era—which Kidawa-Blonski vividly evokes through his skillful deployment of contemporaneous footage as well as a keen ear and eye for the music and fashion of the time. But the focus here is his relationship with childhood friend and fellow footballer Ginter, complicated by a rivalry that extended well beyond sport. It is their shared passion for the beautiful Marlena that drives the drama to its conclusion.
Tribute Award Screening for Jan Kidawa-Blonski on Tues. Nov 7
Producer: Jaroslaw Pachowski | Editor: Jan Kidawa-Blonski Jr. | Cinematographer: Michal Englert | Screenwriter: Jan Kidawa-Blonski, Jacek Kondracki
Cast: Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Sebastian Fabijanski, Karolina Szymczak, Magdalena Cielecka, Pawel Delag