CINEMA LESSON | Bogusław Linda



If the most obdurate cynics shed tears, they would see the world through his eyes. If Mad Max spoke Polish, he would speak his lines as mesmerizingly as he does. If bulldogs could laugh, they would have his rakish smile. We give you... Bogusław Linda. The collector of paradoxes, who throughout the many years of his actor's career has been favoring seemingly contradictory values. A sensual misogynist who cherishes women, a romantic locked up in a steel casing, immovable mover of the hearts of Polish cinema lovers.

Linda is a cinema personality whose charisma manifests in sparing gestures, and his deeply ingrained animality could bting to mind the great Marlon Brando. His extreme screen performances make him akin to Al Pacino and other heroes of gangster cult movies. Although in the 1990s he became enshrined by the aficionados of Władysław Pasikowski’s art house cinema, those with a better memory still remember him as the “king of the shelf”, i.e. the protagonist of political movies grounded by the censorship, where he worked with Agnieszka Holland, Krzysztof Kieślowski and Andrzej Wajda. He played rebels wrestling with the 1980s Polish reality, desperately fighting against the system and the government, but also pondering on the impact that the “Blind Chance” has on life.

Thus, Linda became a hero of two generations.  At first, he play-acted many times the intellectual ethos and ideals of the Solidarity in the movies of the Cinema of Moral Anxiety only to mock his previous impersonations several years later, creating brutes who, under their thick skin, hid a load of distress and timid sensitivity.

The only Bogart character in Poland.  It can be supposed, though, that  - if confronted with Linda - the “Casablanca” star would blush. Surprisingly enough, there is something in common to be found in this vast variety of roles assumed by the six-time winner of the Gdynia actor award. He is always engaged in a moral struggle - regardless of whether he plays a life-loathing anarchist obsessed with an idea in the “Fever”, a desperate cripple in “The Lonely Woman”, a tragic sybarite in “The Magnate”, a father fighting for custody rights in “Daddy”, a drunkard priest in “Pan Tadeusz”, a policeman in “Pigs” or a macho thug in “Kill me, Cop”. He shamelessly ascends beyond the good and the evil only to nonchalantly fight for his ideals, even over his dead body. He never talks about emotions that he carries on his shoulders. Maybe this is why he focuses the viewers’ attention so readily? As if his ambiguous look was hiding a secret which only he could reveal.

Gabryś Krawczyk

© Festiwal Filmu i Sztuki Dwa Brzegi Kazimierz Dolny Janowiec nad Wisłą
Projekt i realizacja: Tomasz Żewłakow