Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition spotlight: Mystification

By Katarzyna Grynienko

    Father and son Jerzy and Maciej Stuhr star in Mystification, a film about the mysterious "supposed" death of Polish artist Stanisław "Witkacy" Witkiewicz.

    {mosimage}The movie explores the controversial case of a suicide committed by the Polish artist in 1939, which was frequently disputed due to several pieces of mystifying evidence. In 1988 an exhumation proved that the supposed body of the painter and writer was replaced by the remains of a 30-year-old woman, and several new works of art contributed to Witkacy, as well as letters dated after his death, kept appearing over the years.

    Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (called Witkacy) was a famous Polish writer, painter, photographer and philosopher. The author of Farewell To Autumn (1927), Insatiability (1930) and The Shoemakers (1934), he was constantly looking for new inspirations. He liked to tease, provoke and stimulate the artistic experience.


    "Witkacy crossed all boarders and rules, he was uncompromising. He experimented - also with himself and he paid he highest price for it," said Jacek Koprowicz, the director.

    {mosimage}Koprowicz, who also wrote the script, sets his movie in 1968 when a student discovers a sensational lead that could expose the truth about the artist's death. The young researcher is played by Maciej Stuhr, awarded in 2008 with the Leszek Cybluski Prize for the best young actor, who co-stars with his father Jerzy Stuhr, one of Poland's most accomplished actors and directors, playing Witkiewicz.

    "I've been fascinated with Witkacy for a long time. Both his work and his life story are extraordinary. There is no way to divide one from the other" said Jacek Koprowicz.


    The shoot for Mystification took place in spring 2009. Most scenes were shot in Cracow, with some filming in the mountain resort town of Zakopane. Over 30 copies of Witkacy's paintings were created for this film.


    The movie is produced by Yeti Films (www.yetifilm.com) in co-production with the title's distributor Syrena Films (www.syernafilms.com) as well as companies Piramida Film, Film Factory and Hydra Film. The film is co-financed by the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl) with a 3 million PLN (€670,000) grant. It also received financing from the Cracow Film Commission (www.film-commission.pl)

    The picture premised in Poland on March 26, 2010, and is nationally distributed by Syrena Films (www.syrenafilms.pl).



    Director - Jacek Koprowicz

    Screenwriter - Jacek Koprowicz

    Cinematographer - Arkadiusz Tomiak

    Music - Włodek Pawlik

    Set design - Jagna Janicka

    Costumes - Katarzyna Lewińska

    Production manager - Jan Kaczmarski

    Producers - Piotr Mularuk, Magdalena Napieracz

    Production company - Yeti Films

    Co-producers - Syrena Films, WFDiF, Piramida Film, Film Factory, Hydrafilm

    Co-financing - Polish Film Institute, Cracow Film Commission

    Distirbutor - Syrena Films


    Maciej Stuhr

    Jerzy Stuhr


    Ewa Błaszczyk

    Ewa Dałkowska

    Karolina Gruszka

    Andrzej Chyra

    Olgierd Łukaszewicz

    and others

    Production contact:

    Yeti Films
    ul. Niemcewicza 7/9 lok 135, 02-022 Warszawa
    tel. 22 823 99 17
    fax: 22 658 01 40
    e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.