Polish film “Wygrany” premieres in Chicago

Today I went to check out a new Polish film premiering in the U.S. called Wygrany (The Winner). I actually initially heard about the screening through Arte y Vida, a Hispanic events e-newsletter. They were promoting the film because the soundtrack features tango music composed by Carlos Libedinsky. The film also got a shout out on Gozamos.

Although, for all that marketing of the music and even a tango number on stage prior to the screening, I was a little disappointed that there was really only one song in that style in the film. It was a good song, and don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all the classical music and Chopin piano performances in the film as well, but I was looking forward to more examples of Libedinsky’s work.

It was interesting to see a movie marketed very much as a Polish-American story. The film was indeed filmed between Poland and Chicago, and the dialogue flowed between English and Polish the entire length of the movie. Surprisingly, it came across as very natural, not forced the way deliberately switching between languages can sometimes sound. Working in Hispanic marketing, it immediately made me think of the language (English/Spanish/Spanglish) issues marketers deal with all the time.

But it was very relevant to see the subject of language and cultural identity addressed in the Polish community. Being the first-born generation in Chicago from my Polish family, I’ve always been able to relate to how bicultural and bilingual people feel in the U.S. That’s probably part of the reason why I was drawn to the field of Hispanic marketing in the first place.

All in all the movie was not bad. If you’re interested in checking it out (the film has English subtitles for the Polish parts), the film will be playing at The Society for Arts starting May 4.

And on the way home, here is the conversation my mom and I had:
Mom: Wouldn’t it be cool to be a famous pianist playing all over the world (like the main character in the film)?
Me: Well, I guess you didn’t push me hard enough as a kid to practice and become a famous pianist.
Mom: Let’s face it, I don’t think you had that kind of talent to begin with.

Thanks, Mom! (She’s going to kill me for putting that up on my blog.) In her defense, I really didn’t have it in me to be a world-famous pianist. I’ll settle for being a perfectly decent piano player.

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