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Purim Spiel

Directed by Izabella Cywinska

Poland | 57 minutes | 2000

Polish with English subtitles

Jan Kochanovski is a middle-aged Catholic factory worker in a small Polish town confronted with the loss of his job. Jan’s response to all the problems he confronts, including his own sacking at the start of the film, is the same — it is all the fault of the Jews. His anti-Semitism is taken up by his son, an unemployed football supporter who derides all the teams which beat his own with anti-Jewish swearwords. After a mysterious phone call inviting him to supper, Jan meets with a prominent American lawyer who informs him that, following a death in the family, Jan is the heir to a large fortune. There is a snag—the dead relative is Jewish and the lawyer has documentary evidence to demonstrate that Jan is also of Jewish stock. A shattered Jan returns home to confront his family with the news. Upon hearing what he has to say his wife breaks into uncontrollable laughter. The son despairs at the fact that he is half-Jewish. His mother corrects him. Because of anti-Semitic sentiments after the war she made a secret of her own Jewish identity when marrying Jan. The son is Jewish through and through. In a number of very amusing scenes the Kochanovskis eventually not only come to terms but learn to positively embrace their new identity.
Foreign Title Cud Purymowy
Director Izabella Cywinska
Countries of Production Poland
Year of Presentation 2000
Language(s) Polish with English subtitles
Premiere Status
Runtime 57 minutes
Principal Cast Slawomir Orzechowski, Danuta Stenka, Grzegorz Malecki
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