The Prince and the Dybbuk


A dybbuk in Jewish folklore is a restless wandering spirit who cleaves to the soul of the living. For director/producer extraordinaire Michał Waszyński (born Mosze Waks), this haunting figure would recur throughout his life, first in the form of his rapturous 1937 film The Dybbuk, later as an obsession to recover his first forbidden love from the shtetl, and finally as a metaphor for his own ever-shifting and turbulent identity, balanced between incompatible worlds.

Like a real-life version of Zelig, Waszyński lived as many different people: a black sheep cast out by his Orthodox family, an incorrigible liar and cheat, a heavy hitter in Hollywood who befriended Audrey Hepburn and Orson Welles and a distinguished gentleman and “Polish prince.” He is credited with igniting the Golden Age of Yiddish cinema and yet was reviled for converting to Roman Catholicism. He married an Italian countess and yet was openly homosexual. Winner of the Best Documentary on Cinema prize at the Venice Film Festival, this mesmerizing biography brings us closer to understanding a life filled with multiple contradictions. Most admirably, The Prince and the Dybbuk refuses to cast judgment on Waszyński or provide easy answers, but instead encircles its subject with compelling questions and thus preserves the central enigma of a truly fascinating, unknowable identity. —Tien-Tien L. Jong

Winner, Best Documentary on Cinema, 2018 Venice Film Festival

Elwira Niewiera lives and works in Berlin. Her last feature documentary Domino Effect was shown worldwide at more than 50 festivals and won many awards, among them "Golden Dove" award at the International Film Festival DOK Leipzig 2014, the Golden Horn for the Best Film of the International Competition at Krakow Film Festival and had art-house cinema distribution in Germany, Poland and Switzerland.

Piotr Rosolowski graduated from the Katowice Film School, awarded with a scholarship of the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. Co-author of Rabbit a la Berlin - Academy Award nominated short documentary film and co-director of documentary film Domino Effect together with Elwira Niewiera. Piotr works also as director of photography, he was DoP on many awarded feature and short films, among them: "On the line" directed by Reno Caffi  which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Short (Fiction).

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