Actor from Promised Land Plays Croatian President in Vinko Brešan’s Film

The most popular Polish actor in the best Polish film of all times, made by the iconic Polish director? Sounds like a road to the promised land for every film lover, and Promised Land (Ziemia obiecana) is the title of the Polish cinematic gem, directed by Andrzej Wajda, starring Daniel Olbrychski.

Promised Land is based on the namesake novel by the Polish Nobel Prize winner Władysława Stanisława Reymonta. Set in 19th century Łódź, a town becoming a major manufacturing hub, three friends decide to join the industrialisation wave and team up to open a modern textile factory. Their risk proves more successful than they could have dreamed, but each of them will pay a large price. Promised Land focuses on a kind of 19th century pre-tycoons and analyses the social dynamics of male friendship and a nation moving to modernity.

The main driving force of Promised Land is Daniel Marcel Olbrychski, the acclaimed Polish theatre, television and film actor with several hundred titles in productions all over the world. He first gained popularity in Andrzej Wajda’s 1965 film The Ashes (Popioly). This is where his attractive looks and acting skills were first noticed, which made it possible for him to create the character of a romantic Polish hero, and he continued to play similar roles in many other films. This was also the beginning of his collaboration with Wajda, stretching throughout Wajda’s entire life and work, in which Olbrychski will play diverse and complex roles and gain global fame as ‘the James Dean of the East’, a representative of the young, rebellious and disillusioned generation.

Another of his roles worth mentioning is Davorin, Ena Begović’s husband in Lordan Zafranović’s The Fall of Italy (1981), the second part of a trilogy about war and revolution, the winner of Large Golden Arena and Golden Arena for best director at Pula Film Festival. Daniel’s appearance on Croatian film doesn’t stop here – in January we will have a chance to see him as Croatian president in Vinko Brešan’s new film Koja je ovo država. The role caught him during the World Cup, when he was sending Brešan encouraging messages after every Croatian victory, signed as the President.

Apart from exceptional acting talent, Daniel is a skilful swordsman, who did most of the action scenes in his films alone. He used the sword also to tear the picture portraying him in a Nazi uniform at the opening of the exhibition Nazis.

To the Promised Land we will take you only once during the festival, in the section Tycoons: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, on Tuesday, 13 November at 6pm, New Academy Scene F22, in Frankopanska 22.