OBITUARY: Polish Director and Screenwriter Ryszard Bugajski Dies at 76

    Ryszard Bugajski at Solanin FF 2013 Ryszard Bugajski at Solanin FF 2013 photo: Zulicho

    WARSAW: Ryszard Bugajski, one of the most outstanding Polish directors, a screenwriter, a longtime member of the Polish Filmmakers Association, the creator of the famous Interrogation, died in Warsaw on 7 June 2019.

    Ryszard Bugajski was born on 27 April 1943 in Warsaw. He was a graduate of philosophy at the University of Warsaw and the Directing Department at the State Higher School of Film, Television and Theater in Łódź (1973). Before he made his debut - together with Janusz Dymek - with the feature film Woman and Woman (1979), he collaborated with Krzysztof Zanussi on Illumination (1972) and Daniel Szczechura on the animation Hobby (1968) and Desant (1986), and also made several documentaries, including Maraton (1971) and Taste of Music (1976).

    He was most recognised for his film Interrogation (1981) starring Krystyna Janda. The film was forbidden in Poland but gained major recognition internationally. The film was presented in the main competition of the Cannes festival in 1982, where Krystyna Janda won the Golden Palm for Best Actress. It took eight years for Polish audiences to see the film. In 1995, the director made a political fiction drama "thriller" taking place during the presidential campaign of Lech Wałęsa. Two years later he returned permanently to the country. For several years he was the main director of the news broadcast Wiadomości in Programme 1 of TVP Polish Television. In 2009 he directed General Nil, a war dram where he successfully reconstructed the last years of the legendary commander of Kedyw of the Home Army, Brigadier General August Emil Fieldorf, pseud. "Nil", and four years later, he directed the Closed Circuit (2013) - a film based on real events following the story of owners of a thriving company who, as a result of the collusion of corrupt officials, were screened on suspicion of acting in an organised criminal group. In his last film, Cataract (2016), set in the 50s, he followed the last years of life of Julia Brystigerowa, a notorious officer of the Security Office called the "Bloody Luna", who entered a group centered around the Department for the Blind in Laski and died as an ardent Catholic.