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Biography
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Andrzej Zulawski was born on the territory of what was then the U.S.S.R. in a Polish family
with remarkable traditions in arts and literature. After World War II, his father's diplomatic
career brought the family to France (1945-1949), Czechoslovakia (1949-1952), and finally
to Poland. He studied film direction at IDHEC in Paris (1957-1959) and philosophy at both
Warsaw University (1961) and Université de Paris (1962-1964).  

First, he assisted the famous Polish director
Andrzej Wajda during the filming of Samson
(1961), Popioly (1966), and the Warsaw episode of L'Amour à Vingt Ans (1962). In 1967,
Zulawski directed two short films, Piesn Triumfujacej Milosci and Pavoncello, for Polish TV.
His feature debut, Trzecia Czesc Nocy (1971), as well as those previous films were co-scripted
by his father, poet Miroslaw Zulawski. The picture was well received at the Venice Film Festival
and awarded as the Best Debut in its homeland, but had only limited release due to Polish
censorship. Zulawski's next feature, Diabel (1972), was outright banned and not released until
1988. The same happened to his next Polish project, Na Srebrnym Globie (1977). After he
finished about 80 percent of the shooting, the authorities ordered him to abandon the picture
and to  destroy all related materials. Only in 1987 did he manage to complete the film from spare
footage, using voice-over commentary for the missing parts. Since the late '70s, Zulawski has
lived and worked mostly in France, during which time he developed a knack for showcasing his
actresses' talents. L'Important C'est D'Aimer (1975) brought its star, Romy Schneider, a Cesar
(French Oscar) as did Possession (1981) to Isabelle Adjani. He then found his muse in young
actress Sophie Marceau who would star in four of his films. He briefly returned to Poland where
he made Szamanka (1996). Being a maverick who always defied mainstream commercialism,
Zulawski enjoyed success mostly with the European art-house audiences. His wild, imaginative,
and controversial pictures have received 16 awards at various international film festivals. He also
wrote the novels Il était Un Verger, Lity Bór (a.k.a: La Forêt Forteresse), V Oczach Tygrysa, and
Ogród Milosci.


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