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Poland Daily: Economy, Work, Consumption and Social Class in Polish Cinema

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Poland Daily

Economy, Work, Consumption and Social Class in Polish Cinema

Ewa Mazierska

346 pages, 28 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-536-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78533-537-2 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Mazierska offers an extensively contextualized, behind-the-scenes mini-history of Polish films from the 1920s to the present… The bibliography is excellent, demonstrating the author's command of the secondary sources, including historical and economic overviews and film reviews. Recommended.” • Choice

“Ewa Mazierska’s extensive new study of Polish cinema, is a bold and welcome act of revisionism in the field of Eastern European cinemas. Its freshness of perspective applies most obviously to its chief critical objective, which is to retell the history of Polish screen imagery ‘from below’, that is, with regard to the representation of the lives – and, above all, livelihoods – of ordinary Polish citizens…This study of how Polish filmmakers have worked with work proves highly topical. The newspaper-like ring of the book’s title is appropriate, for Poland Daily is as much urgent editorial as illuminating history.” • Film & History

“If one wants a study, and indeed a model, of how the analysis of national cinema, political economy, identity, and representation should proceed, then Ewa Mazierska's book is exemplary. The prime virtues of this encompassing book – the first to scrutinise the entirety of Poland's film history – are its clearly set out methodological approach…, its command of Polish cinema from 1918 to date, and its analysis of the unique place of the political and economic history of Poland and much of Eastern Europe seen through the lens of its national cinema.” • Pol-Int

“Competently written and thoroughly researched, Poland Daily is an engaging book which may be said to offer – especially when read in tandem with the work by Haltof – an alternative (and complementary) history of Polish cinema… a highly valuable book.” • Studies in Eastern European Cinema

“…a valuable contribution to current research on Polish and Eastern Middle-European film…a standard work for the representation of every-day life in Polish film during the last 100 years…Her approach, based consistently on Marxist categories when examining the reproduction of every-day life, turns her analysis into an extremely interesting work not only for film specialists but also for readers from other disciplines.” • Journal of East Central European Studies

“The author offers an informative study that deals with numerous films, set in a clear, historical context. It will be a valuable contribution to teaching at non-Polish universities because only few English-language works on Polish cinema exist, which discuss films beyond the established canon.” • Sehepunkte

“A short summary does not exhaust all the threads of Mazierska’s study. The chronological structure of the book allowed the author to convincingly sketch the transformations of the representations of class and work in Polish cinema as accompanying social and political processes, and to explain the reasons behind them… Poland Daily is a comprehensive and inspiring book that proves the productivity of an approach underrated in the history of Polish film, and that invites the readers to a discussion not limited to the area of film studies.” • Slavic Review


Like many Eastern European countries, Poland has seen a succession of divergent economic and political regimes over the last century, from prewar “embedded liberalism,” through the state socialism of the Soviet era, to the present neoliberal moment. Its cinema has  been inflected by these changing historical circumstances, both mirroring and resisting them. This volume is the first to analyze the entirety of the nation’s film history—from the reemergence of an independent Poland in 1918 to the present day—through the lenses of political economy and social class, showing how Polish cinema documented ordinary life while bearing the hallmarks of specific ideologies.

Ewa Mazierska is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Central Lancashire. She has published over twenty books on film and popular music, including From Self-Fulfillment to Survival of the Fittest: Work in European Cinema from the 1960s to the Present (2015), Marxism and Film Activism (2015), and European Cinema and Intertextuality: History, Memory, Politics (2011). She is principal editor of the journal Studies in Eastern European Cinema.

Subject: Film Studies 20th Century History Economic History
Area: Central/Eastern Europe


List of Illustrations



Chapter 1. The 1920s: The Cult of the Body and the Machine
Chapter 2. The 1930s: The Beauty and Sadness of the Room at the Top


Chapter 3. The 1950s: Holy Work?
Chapter 4. The 1960s: Industrial Expansion and Small Stabilization
Chapter 5. The 1970s: Bad Work and Good Life
Chapter 6. The 1980s: Between Refusal to Work and Alienation of Labour


Chapter 7. The 1990s: Heroic Neoliberalism or Everybody Can Be a Winner
Chapter 8. The 2000s and Beyond: Accumulation by Dispossession


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