Andrzej Wolski’s documentary ‘Toys’ about toys and games popular in a socialist era will be screened in the New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) during the ‘Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000’– the first large exhibition dedicated entirely to child design.
‘Toys’ has been produced by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the ‘Guide to the Poles’, which aims to familiarise the foreign audience with Poland in the times of communism. In the documentary, artists recall their childhood’s favourite toys, tell stories about things which stimulated their imagination, taught independent thinking. These toys were often made by the children themselves with limited resources due to the lack of toys available in the shops. The viewer will see narrations of graphic designer, Andrzej Dudziński, poet Tomasz Jastrun, writer Dorota Masłowska and actor Wojciech Pszoniak, whose memories are intertwine with an archive footage of Documentary and Feature Film Production Company and the National Film Archive which show children playing amongst post-war ruins, toys of the socrealism era, which the ruling party officials were giving away to teenagers and some imported Western gadgets that most of the children could only dream about.
The documentary will be shown in 5 parts to be found in MoMA’s halls, but the organisers plan also to screen the full-length film in the future. The exhibition will be opened between July 29th and November 5th and is the first to demonstrate 20th Century children design on such a big scale. On display there will be items from various areas that are loosely connected with the ‘toy’ theme such as school architecture and children hospitals, playground plans, clothing sketches, furniture as well as toys and books.
***Andrzej Wolski – documentary and feature films filmmaker. He has lived for several decades in, where he made over 40 films for French television channels, BBC, TVP and others. Wolski is known mainly for portrait and historical films. He is a co-author (together with Agnieszka Holland) of the script for ‘Europa, Europa’, which was nominated for Oscar in 1991. He is also recognised for: ‘Culture Monthly’ (which tells the story of the Institute of Literature in Maisons-Laffitte), portrait of Józef Czapski in ‘Czapski’, ‘Emissaires’ (a documentary, where couriers: Jan Nowak-Jeziorański, Jerzy Lerski i Jan Karski reveal unknown facts about military operations in London), ‘Moi, Gombrowicz’ (a series of interviews, in which Witold Gombrowicz comments on contemporary trends in art, his phobias and controversies) as well as ‘Jan Lebenstein - dziennik samotnika’ (Jan Lebenstein - A Diary of a Solitary Man).