Nights and Days (Polish Title: Noce i Dnie)
Director: Jerzy Antczak
Costume Drama, Historical Drama, Family Saga
Polish with English subtitles
A beautiful two-part story about love, an epic saga of the Niechcic family told from a woman's perspective set amidst the Polish social transformations between 1865-1914. Set in the Kalisz region in the second half of the 19th century after the failure of the January Uprising in 1863, the film presents a unique portrait of an oppressed society, life in exile, and the confiscation of private property as told through the loves and struggles of the Niechcic family. Described by The Washington Post as "Poland's Gone With the Wind", Jerzy Antczak’s blockbuster was based on Maria Dąbrowska's novel Noce i dnie, and stands out thanks to its picturesque locations and splendidly reconstructed historical detail.
PFFF, Gdynia: Grand Prix Golden Lions, Actress in a leading role (Jadwiga Barańska), Actor in a leading role (Jerzy Bińczycki)
IFF, Berlin: Silver Bear for the best performance (Jadwiga Barańska), Unicritic Award
Łagów: Film Season Star – Lubusz Film Summer (Jadwiga Barańska, Jerzy Bińczycki)
USA: Oscar – Nomination for the Academy Award
PFFF, Gdynia: Diamond Lions on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Festival for the best film and best actress (Jadwiga Barańska)
Director: Jerzy Antczak
Screenwriter: Jerzy Antczak
Cinematographer: Stanisław Loth
Designer Jerzy Masłowski
Costumes Barbara Ptak, Renata Własow
Editor Janina Niedźwiecka
Music Waldemar Kazanecki
Film and theatre director, actor, screenplay writer, film producer. Born in 1929 in Włodzimierz Wołyński. As a teenager during WW2, in the years of the German occupation of Poland, he was taught at clandestine classes and also supported the resistance movement. After the war, Antczak graduated from secondary school in Opole in 1949 and entered into the Acting Department at the Film School in Łódź. He joined a student theatre movement and co-founded the Czerwony wąż / Red Snake Cabaret and graduated from the Lodz Film School in 1953.
His film Nights and Days was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was entered into the 26th Berlin International Film Festival. In 2009 Jerzy Antczak received a star on the prestigious Alley of the Stars in Łódź. Jerzy Antczak is the author of Noce i dnie mojego życia / Nights and Days of My Life, published in 2009 and the main protagonist of a biographical film Jerzy Antczak directed by Adam Wyżyński. In 2015 he acted as an artistic supervisor of Marcin Bortkiewicz's debut Noc Walpurgii / Walpurgis Night. He is a professor at UCLA.
1962 - Łabędzi śpiew / The Swan Song screenplay, film adaptation of Anton Chekhov's play.
1962 - Stary professor / The Old Professor (4) in Spóźnieni przechodnie / Late By-Passers based on Stanisław Dygat's works.
1965 - Wystrzał / The Shot,screenplay, based on Aleksander Pushkin's short story. Awards: 1966 The Bronze Ramses International Television Film Festival, Cairo.
1966 - Mistrz / The Master screenplay by Zdzisław Skowroński. Film version of a previous television theatre production.Awards: 1969 - (1966) Prix Italia, International Festival of Radio and Television Productions Prix Italia, Palermo.
1968 - Hrabina Cosel / Countess Cosel feature film, screenplay by Zdzisław Skowroński based on Józef Ignacy Kraszewski's novel.
1968 - Hrabina Cosel / Countess Cosel television series.
1970 - Epilog norymberski / The Nuremberg Epilogue screenplay. Film version of the extended television theatre production which was a pioneering project of the docu-drama genre. Awards: 1971 - Golden Prague, Prague International Film Festival; Intervision honorary distinction; Golden Prague, Prague International Film Festival; International Press Award; 1972 - Złoty Ekran / Golden Screen awarded by Ekran magazine.
1975 - Noce i dnie / Nights and Days feature film, screenplay. Film adaptation of Maria Dąbrowska's realist novel set at the turn of the 19th century about a marriage of descendants from the impoverished nobility. Barbara, the main protagonist, suffers from thwarted ambitions and unhappy marriage to Bogumił, workaholic and a model of honesty. Seen from her pretentious perspective, her husband does not meet her expectations as a life partner. Similarly to the novel, the film features a family saga (the couple, their children, and Barbara's brother) against broad social background. It focuses, however, more on the subtle psychological analysis than the analysis of the social transformations vital for the novel. Awards: 1975 - Dziennik Wieczorny Award, Bydgoszcz, readers' plebiscite; 1976 - 1st Degree State Award; team award, UNICRITIC - International Film Critics Association, International Film Festival, Berlin.
1977 - Noce i dnie / Nights and Days television series, screenplay. Film version divided into episodes. Awards: 1978 - Złoty Szczupak / Golden Pike Award and 1st Degree Individual Award of the Chairman of Radio and Television Committee, Polish Television Production Festival, Olsztyn.
1994 - Dama kameliowa / The Lady of the Camellias screenplay by Jadwiga Barańska based on a novel by Alexandre Dumas.
2002 - Chopin. Pragnienie miłości / Chopin. Desire for Love screenplay co-written with Jadwiga Barańska, music selection and production. Love story of the Polish composer and French writer George Sand. Awards: 2003 - Platinum Award for Best Drama, World Fest Independent Film Festival, Houston; Special Prize, Polish Film Festival, Houston.
In addition, Jerzy Antczak played in the following feature films: Jerzy Kawalerowicz's Celuloza / Cellulose (1953); Ewa Petelska's Sprawa konia / The Horse Case (the 3rd short film) in Trzy opowieści / Three Stories (1953); Jan Rybkowski's Autobus odjeżdża 6.20 / The Bus Leaves at 6.20 (1954); Jan Koecher's Kariera / Career (1954); Jerzy Kawalerowicz's Pod gwiazdą frygijską / Under the Friesian Star (1954); Czesław Petelski's Nowela bokserska / Boxing Story in Trzy starty / Three Beginnings (1955); Jan Rybkowski's Kapelusz pana Anatola / Mr. Anatol's Hat (1957); Leonard Buczkowski's Czas przeszły / Simple Past (1961); Jarosław Brzozowski's and Andrzej Wróbel's Na białym szlaku / On a White Track (1962), Jan Rybkowski's short film Nauczycielka / Teacher (1962) in Spóźnieni przechodnie / Late By-Passers.