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[i]So what that political censorship was abolished? With it adult political audiences abandoned cinemas. In their place appeared a void. That previous political audience migrated to the seats in front of their TV. Cinemas gained new young audiences who wanted films made for them. The first real success of the Polish cinema was entertainment films, which were made showily, following American patterns, with heroes shadowing the American ones, with shootings, with all that constitutes popular American cinema. Those films got assimilated into Polish cinema. They were the only successful Polish films at the time. And, they were soon followed by even more successful Polish films, which were historical films based on Polish literature.
Seven million people came to the cinema to see the first one of those films, [/i]Ogniem i mieczem [With Fire and Sword, 1999], based on Henryk Sienkiewicz’s novel of 1884. No one could believe that a cinema audience of that size existed in Poland. And in reality this audience doesn’t exist. They sit in front of TV and watch what they can find there. This audience came out of their TV rooms to see a film that was made for them. After that, there was the success of Pan Tadeusz, which was seen by six million viewers. Then came Zemsta, which had two million viewers, while Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone had 2.5 million. All that shows that audiences did, after all, expect a film of this kind from Polish cinema.
(Andrzej Wajda, as interviewed by Renata Murawska)