Jozef Lejtes


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Jozef Lejtes was Poland's first major filmmaker (of Jewish origin). He made a patriotic historical movie, Huragan/ Hurricane (1928), whose story is told via tableaux, and an anti-Russian film, Mlody Las/ The Young Forest (1934), that began his collaboration with composers Roman Palester and Marian Neuteich. These were two popular topics of the time.

Then he took on more original concepts with the historical costume drama Barbara Radziwillowna/ Love or a Kingdom (1936), starring Smosarska and scored by Jan Maklakiewicz, and with Roza/ The Rose (1936), adapted from a play by Stefan Zeromski, one of Lejtes' experiments with "visual poetry", scored by Palester and Neuteich.

The realistic melodrama Dziewczeta z Nowolipek/ Girls from Nowolipki (1937), adapted from Pola Gojawiczynska's novel that follows four poor girls, scored again by Palester and Neuteich, and the psychological drama Granica/ Border (1938), adapted from Zofia Nalkowska's novel, about the fall of a cynical man, scored by Neuteich alone, starred some of Poland's greatest actresses: Elzbieta Barszczewska in both plus Jadwiga Andrzejewska, Tamara Wiszniewska and Anna Jaraczowna in Girls from Nowolipki and Lena Zelichowska and Mieczyslawa Cwiklinska in Border.

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