The career of distinguished Polish-Romani poetess Bronislawa Wajs, known as Papusza, stems from her tumultuous early life and her entanglement with the writer Jerzy Ficowski at both professional and personal levels. Whereas poetry is her salvation, sudden fame leads to her banishment from the Roma community, and lifelong loneliness. This biopic, shot in serene black-and-white and with enchanting camerawork, spans several decades and brings to light the unexplored secrets of Roma culture and its place in 20th-century European history.
Papusza | Directed by Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze (Poland 2013) with Jowita Budnik, Zbigniew Walerys, Antoni Pawlicki. Starts May 7.
Originally published in Issue #138, May 2015.