Do you recall reading “The Peasant” (Chłopi) by Wladyslaw Reymont in school? This novel was written and published between 1904 and 1909, and Reymont was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1924. The book was subsequently translated into numerous European languages, and its theme was universal. The French translator of the novel referred to it as a “testimony to European peasants.”
“The Peasants” is a novel set in Lipce, a Polish village during the late 19th century. Although it is mainly based on an authentic village called Lipce Reymontowskie, the author chose to modify its topography and language to create a more ‘universal’ effect. The novel’s main characters are Maciej Boryna, a wealthy farmer and village leader, his rebellious son Antek, and Jagna – the femme fatale. This beautiful young woman marries the elder Boryna. Still, she falls in love with his son, leading to a tragic love triangle that results in growing hostility between Maciej and Antek while the village condemns Jagna. Critics and scholars have noted that the novel’s main structure resembles an ancient epic, with Jagna playing the role of Helen of Troy, the village beauty who lures men into tragic conflicts.
A movie adaptation of the novel has been made by filmmakers D.K. Welchman (formerly known as Dorota Kobiela) and Hugh Welchman, who previously directed “Loving Vincent.” The same painting technique used in “Loving Vincent” was utilized in this movie. The technique involves tracing real-life movements, similar to rotoscoping.
The artwork is based on the works of Poland painters, particularly Józef Chełmoński, Leon Wyczółkowski, and Ferdynand Ruszczyc. The actors played out the scenes before over 100 artists went through the performances frame by frame to manually repaint them. The main characters were portrayed by Kamila Urzędowska (Jagna), Robert Gulaczyk (Antek), Mirosław Bak (Boryna), and Sonia Mietelica (Hanka), with music composed by Łukasz L.U.C.
Smaller screenings of the film will start in Gdynia, Poland, on September 19, with the official national premiere set for October 13.
Learn More: https://www.chlopifilm.pl