The Peasants

Chlopi, D.K. Welchman, Hugh Welchman, Poland/Serbia/Lithuania 2023, 114 min., Polish with English subtitles

Saturday, April 20, 2024
7:30 p.m.

Dryden Theatre, 900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY

A painting of peasants in a field harvesting crops.


Presented by the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman Museum, in collaboration with the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies and the Polish Film Festival.

Ticket cost: $9 museum members, $12 general, $5 students w/ID, $5 ages 17 and under

Building off the techniques they used to create Loving Vincent in 2017, married filmmakers D.K. and Hugh Welchman adapt Władysław Reymont’s Nobel Prize-winning novel to the big screen. Following the seasons of agriculture in the village of Lipce in the late 19th century, young, unmarried Jagna (Kamila Urzędowska)is forced to marry a wealthy, widowed landowner (Mirosław Baka) despite her love for his son (Robert Gulaczyk). Determined to forge her own path within the confines of a Polish village where homespun traditions of family and faith rigidly define the roles of each member of the community, she sets off on a collision course that ultimately turns the village against her — and propels her into a desperate fight for her independence.

After the actors were shot on set, the filmmakers directed over 100 artists to create oil paintings of the original frames, which became the finished film. Painters inPoland, Lithuania, Serbia, and Ukraine spent more than 200,000 hours working on the film, inspired by artists such as Józef Chełmoński, Ferdynand Ruszczyc,and Leon Wyczółkowski. After the invasion of Ukraine, several painters were moved to Poland so that they could continue their work.