Dir. Andrzej Wajda, 2016

Polish Oscar candidate for Best International Feature Film.

Biography of the avant-garde painter Władysław Strzemiński (portrayed by Bogusław Linda), who opposed the Stalinist doctrine and the socialist realist aesthetics, searching for his own uncompromising way to fight for the liberation of art. At the same time, the artist wrestled with huge family and health issues.

Persecuted by members of the Party, he gets expelled from the Łódź State Art School and his works are removed from museum exhibitions. With the help from a handful of students, who have attended his classes in great numbers, Strzemiński begins to fight against the authorities, thus becoming a symbol of artistic resistance against intellectual discrimination. The title of Wajda’s work was inspired by a series of paintings created by Strzemiński in the years 1948-1949, which present afterimages caused by looking directly into the sunlight.

You can read more about the film at the IMDB.com online database

Tenement house
46 Próchnika Str.

Corner tenement house, in which the fictitious flat of Władysław Strzemiński is located. On screen we can see the outside of the building in the scene in which Joseph Stalin’s large-format portrait is being hung on the elevation. The red sheet on which the leader’s portrait is painted irritates Strzemiński and makes him unable to paint. The artist opens the window and tears the sheet, which becomes the cause for his arrest.

Tenement house
18 Wólczańska Str.

In the tenement house located at the corner of Zielona and Wólczańska Streets there is the fictitious seat of the Łódź State Art School, co-created by Strzemiński, where he was also a lecturer. We see the building in the scene when the Professor, expelled from the School, leaves it together with his students and bids them goodbye upon getting on a tram.

Workers' housing
16 Tymienieckiego Str.

The multi-family workers’ houses (familoki) at 16 Tymienieckiego Street were presented on screen from the side of the backyard. The building was used on screen as a house for chronically ill patients, where Katarzyna Kobro, Strzemiński’s wife and Nika’s mother, dies. On screen we can see Nika (Bronisława Zamachowska) running towards the hospital upon hearing the news about her mother’s death.

4a Moniuszki Str.

YMCA is the place where Strzemiński’s students organise an exhibition of their works because no other gallery has consented to putting them on show. Before they reach the exposition together with their Professor, it is destroyed by a group of security police workers.

K. Gesner’s tenement house (Dom Literatury)
17 Roosevelta Str.

The gate of the tenement house, currently the seat of Dom Literatury, was used in Andrzej Wajda’s film as the entrance to the Łódź branch of Polish Association of Fine Artists. Strzemiński goes there to get some ration stamps and an advance for completing the project of a relief for the Egzotyczna café.

1 Włókiennicza Str.

Courtyard of the tenement house in which Strzemiński lives in the film. On screen we can see Nika (Bronisława Zamachowska) going to that building across the yard several times. The scene in which Hanka (Zofia Wichłacz) is intercepted by security police workers the moment she leaves Strzemiński’s flat takes place here as well. Also along Włókiennicza Street goes the May Day march, attended by Nika and students of the Łódź State Art School, and observed by Strzemiński from his window.

Tatry Cinema
40 Sienkiewicza Str.

It is another place, apart from the YMCA, which in Afterimage is situated in its authentic location. Together with his daughter, Strzemiński goes to the cinema to watch a film when the artist fails to buy paints in an art shop and hence they can afford to buy tickets.

Tenement house
21 Włókiennicza Str.

On the ground floor of the tenement house, the set designers located a meat shop visited by Strzemiński. Although as a person walking on crutches the artist is allowed to jump the queue by the other shoppers, without ration stamps he fails to buy food.

A square
28 Włókiennicza Str.

In a garden square at the intersection of Włókiennicza and Kilińskiego, the stage design for the clothes shop in which Władysław Strzemiński is forced to find employment was created. In one of the final scenes of the film, we see the artist decorating clothes dummies in the display window fall down and pass out.

135 Piłsudskiego Av.

On the premises of Wi-Ma, a scene was shot where Strzemiński, wasted by his illness, falls amidst the crowd in the street was shot. One of the female passers-by helps him by calling an ambulance. The artist is then taken to the hospital.

Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź
36 Więckowskiego Str.

We can see the Muzeum Sztuki in one of the last scenes of Wajda’s film, when Strzemiński, together with his daughter, transport the artist’s works on a sledge to deposit them there and thus protect them from being destroyed by the regime.