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Filip (Jerzy Stuhr) buys an 8mm movie camera when his first child is born. Because it's the first camera in his town, he's named official photographer by the local Party boss. His horizons widen when he is sent to regional film festivals with his first works but his focus on movie making also leads to domestic strife with his wife Irka (Malgorzata Zabkowska) and some philosophical dilemmas.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Camera Buff is a symbolic title, underlining Kishlovski's natural talent for visual communication. The title heralds an ironic tale about Filip (Jerzy Stuhr), a factory worker in communist Czechoslovakia, a sensitive and loving father, who buys himself an 8mm camera to record his newly born baby daughter's early days, only to find himself compelled to record much more, under threat of heavy-handed censorship from smalltime officialdom. And on a collision course with his wife.

Aptly, it's a story of how the camera changes his life, just as the film changed Kieslowski's filmmaking career, setting him on a path of dramatic filmmaking, instead of documentaries. And watch out for the scene where Filip is browsing through a new book he has brought home: we see it's about filmmaking, because we see one illustrated chapter is headed 'Kenneth Loach'. This was way back in 1979, when Loach had only made a couple of features. A symbolic tribute from one emerging filmmaker to another. The screenplay is a complex exploration of several themes including the price of creative obsession and also about power and the media - told not in power-packed boardrooms but through seemingly insignificant little people.

With its deadpan absurdities, and because it's so true to life Camera Buff is a joy as it probes the many layers of our humanity.

Published January 31, 2008

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CAST: Jerzy Stuhr, Malgorzata Zabkowska, Ewa Pokas, Stefan Czyzewski, Jerzy Novak, Tadeusz Bradecki, Marek Litekwa

PRODUCER: Wielislawa Piotrowska

DIRECTOR: Krzysztof Kieslowski

SCRIPT: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Jerzy Stuhr


EDITOR: Halina Nawrocka

MUSIC: Krysztof Knittel

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Andrzej Rafal Waltenberger

RUNNING TIME: 117 minutes

PRESENTATION: 1.33:1 full frame; DD 2.0 stereo

SPECIAL FEATURES: Recent interviews with cinematographer Slawomir Idziak, filmmaker Agnieszka Holland (Europa, Europa) and previously unreleased short documentaries directed by Kieslowski


DVD RELEASE: July 12, 2006

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