Directed by Jan P. Matuszyński
Poland, France, Czech Rep | ca. 160 min. | 2021 | political thriller | Polish

Poland, 1983. The country is shaken by the case of Grzegorz Przemyk – a high school student beaten to death by militia. Based on true events, the film follows the story of Jurek – the only witness of the beating, who overnight became the number one enemy of the state. The oppressive regime used its whole apparatus – the secret service, militia, the media and the courts – to squeeze Jurek and other people close to the case, including his parents and Przemyk’s mother, Barbara.


Director: Jan P. Matuszyński
Screenplay: Kaja Krawczyk-Wnuk
Cinematography: Kacper Fertacz
Editing: Przemysław Chruścielewski
Production Design: Paweł Jarzębski
Sound Design: Dreamsound

Cast: Tomasz Ziętek, Sandra Korzeniak, Jacek Braciak, Agnieszka Grochowska, Mateusz Górski, Robert Więckiewicz, Aleksandra Konieczna, Adam Bobik, Tomasz Kot

Production Company: Aurum Film (Leszek Bodzak & Aneta Hickinbotham)
Co-production Companies: Les Contes Modernes, Arte France Cinéma, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes-Cinéma, Canal+, Background Films, Magiclab, Czech Television, Mazovia Warsaw Film Fund
With support of: Polish Film Institute, Région Provence-Alpes-Côte D’azur, Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
In partnership with: Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée and Czech Film Fund

  • Jan P. Matuszyński
    Jan P. Matuszyński

Festivals & Awards

  • Venice Film Festival – Official Competition
  • Trieste Film Festival
  • Palm Springs International Film Festival

press quotes

No background knowledge of these players is needed to savor Leave No Traces; the film never morphs into a history lesson. At its best, it thrums with an incendiary fury that brought me back to Costa-Gavras’s Z, another cry of rage and a fulminating investigation into a country’s shady past… bursts with the fury of an unavenged crime… Matuszyński keeps a point of view above the events, and there’s something admirable in his implacable commitment to leave no stones unturned… the fervor Leave No Traces brims with is universal, its plea for justice ever topical. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one thinking of George Floyd as the end credits rolled.


Leonardo Goi – MUBI Notebook


Icy political thriller that envelops the viewer bit by bit and never lets go…The title alludes to the perfect work of the agents, who hit without leaving traces. But the film also does its job well. And it is just the opposite.


Tommaso Koch – El Pais


Matuszynski confirms himself as one of the most interesting directors of the new Polish cinema. Shot with a hand-held camera that is constantly attached to the characters, “Leave No Traces” is a strong indictment that brings to life with great realism a highly dramatic period.


Andrea Chimento – Il Sole 24 Ore 


The film is undeniably a tour de force in execution… The story’s outcome undeniably hits hard, and viewers worldwide will appreciate the evident parallels with the deaths of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality worldwide.


Jonathan Romney – Screen International


New Europe Nabs World Rights to Jan P. Matuszynski’s ‘Leave No Traces’

Jan P. Matuszyński

Born in 1984. Jan graduated in Film Directing from Krzysztof Kieślowski Faculty of Radio and Television University of Silesia in Katowice and completed the Documentary Course in Wajda School. His documentary DEEP LOVE was awarded, among others, Best Documentary Award at the 36th IFF in Moscow and the Silver Horn award for Best Feature Documentary Film at the 54th Kraków FF. His feature debut, THE LAST FAMILY, premiered at Locarno, where it won the Best Actor Award, and was screened at over 100 festivals worldwide (including Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Palm Springs & New Directors New Films), winning many international awards. Jan also works in TV, his most recent series THE KING OF WARSAW, produced by CANAL+, was released in October 2020. LEAVE NO TRACES is his second feature film.


2021 Leave No Traces, feature
2016 The Last Family, feature
2013 Deep Love, documentary
2011 Heaven, documentary
2009 Afterparty, short
2007 15 Years of Silence, short