Polish Wedding

Institute History


In a forgotten neighborhood of Detroit, amid the rubble of urban decay, the overgrown vacant lots and run-down row houses with well-tended vegetable gardens and shrines to the Virgin Mary, an enchanted people regularly suffers and celebrates the mystery of life's cycles. POLISH WEDDING is a portrait of this world as lived by a poor working class Polish family, the Pszoniaks, and in particular, its women.

At the head of the Pszoniak tribe is Jadzia. The mother of four sons and a wayward daughter, she is also the wife of an eccentric, ever-philosophizing baker and the mistress of a wealthy man whose company toilets she scrubs during the day. Outwardly a devoted Catholic, mother and wife, Jadzia's passions and rituals barely mask her observance of a much older, indeed ancient and unorthodox way of life. This contradiction, as well as her sheer lust for life, leads Jadzia into her own compromising positions and foreshadows her fifteen year old daughter Hala's predicament. By turns a sensuous angel and an incorrigible hellion, Hala is her father's favorite and the thorn in her mother's side. She is an angry young girl-woman teetering at the crossroads of destiny and self-determination, equipped only—one would well say "fatefully"—with her mother's body and her father's mind. In her effort to wrest from life all that it owes her, she is sucked back into the spiral of her family's history, into the mistakes of her mother and her mother's mother. When Hala's adventures, which she conducts late at night through the basement window (much traveled meanwhile by many other members of the Pszoniak clan), get her into "trouble" with an outsider, a POLISH WEDDING is planned—one that doesn't go quite as intended.

POLISH WEDDING is a tragi-comic story about women who juggle their whore-madonna legacy with grace and humor—and about the men who can't live without them. It's about the double edge of life's mysteries: love and its shackles; lust and fertility; sex and the very real seeds it sows.

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]