Directed by Joanna Kos-Krauze & Krzysztof Krauze
Poland | 2013 | 131 min | drama, biopic | Polish, Roma

True story of Papusza – the first Roma woman who put her poems into writing and published them, and therefore confronted the traditional female image in the gypsy community. The film follows Papusza’s life from birth to old age: arranged marriage as a small girl, her life in a gypsy tabor before, during and after second world war, then forced settlement in communist Poland and urban life in poverty. Her meeting with the Polish poet Jerzy Ficowski, who discovered her great talent for poetry and published her works led to a tragic paradox: a famous poet was living in poverty, rejected by the Roma community, for betraying their secrets.

Cast & Crew

Director: Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze
Screenplay: Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze
Cinematography: Krzysztof Ptak, Wojciech Staroń
Editing: Krzysztof Szpetmański
Cast: Jowita Budnik (Papusza), Antoni Pawlicki (Jerzy Ficowski), Zbigniew Waleryś (Dionizy), Artur Steranko (Czarnecki)
Producers: Lambros Ziotas (Argomedia sp. z o.o.), Telewizja Polska S.A., Canal+ Polska & Studio Filmowe KADR

  • Joanna Kos-Krauze & Krzysztof Krauze
    Joanna Kos-Krauze & Krzysztof Krauze

Festivals & Awards
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival – Grand Jury’s Special Mention, Main Competition
Thessaloniki International Film Festival – Open Horizons, Audience Award
Valladolid International Film Festival – Best Director, Youth Jury Prize, Best Actor
Rotterdam International Film Festival
London International Film Festival
Chicago International Film Festival
Haifa International Film Festival
Tallin Black Nights International Film Festival
Kolkata International Film Festival
Cottbus International Film Festival
Pune International Film Festival – Best Film, Best Director
Istanbul International Film Festival – Special Jury Prize
Taipei International Film Festival
Brazilia International Film Festival
Vancouver International Film Festival

press quotes

An immersive, melancholy, sumptuous visual symphony. (…) Shot in exquisite monochrome by Krzysztof Ptak and Wojciech Staron, every frame is a painterly masterclass in light and shadow.
The Hollywood Reporter

Two much awarded cinematographers, Krzysztof Ptak (who worked with the Krauzes on My Nikifor) and Wojciech Staroń, provide some of the most spectacular black and white camera work in recent years.
Screen Daily

With its elaborate period production design and scores of Roma extras, the latest film from writer-helmers Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze (“My Nikifor”) is perhaps most interesting for the picture it provides of the gypsy community from which Papusza hailed. Further fest travel is guaranteed.

Joanna Kos-Krauze & Krzysztof Krauze

Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze are Poland‘s leading film auteurs. Their work is characterised by a deep humanist approach and respect for their protagonists. Their first collaboration was DEBT, directed by Krzysztof and jointly co-written. The film was recently chosen as the most important Polish production of the past twenty years. Altogether, their films have received more than 120 awards in Poland and around the world. Their films include MY NIKIFOR, a story about a forgotten painter (Award for Best Director in Karlovy Vary) and SAVIOUR SQUARE, a drama about a toxic family.


2015 Papusza
2006 Saviour Square / Plac Zbawiciela
2004 My Nikifor / Mój Nikifor
1999 Debt / Dług