|Still photo from Papusza.|
Used with permission.
There was always something a little different about Papusza, and, according to the movie, when poet Jerzy Ficowski first encountered her and learned that she could create beautiful, poignant poetry, he encouraged her talent to flourish. Although it eventually earned her notoriety, her connection to Ficowski and the publication of her poems began a spiral downfall for Papusza, and led to her being ostracized by her fellow Gypsies.
This was all set against the backdrop of several tragic events that affected Poland in the 1900s, including World War II and Gypsy pogroms. Papusza passed away in 1987, but her legacy lives on in her work and now also through this touching film. Read more about her life and read some of the poems that changed it here.
There are eleven films in total at the NY Polish Film Festival this year, all feature-length, and it's not too late to buy tickets for the remaining Saturday and Sunday shows. See the full schedule here and follow the event on facebook. The Festival is sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York and Zywiec Polish Beer.