film screening and discussion

The Portraitist

Film screening and discussion

  • Please join us at a special screening of the documentary film The Portraitist directed by Ireneusz Dobrowolski followed by a discussion with the director, the film’s producer Anna Dobrowolski and Marcin Kaczorowski, President of the Association for Preserving the Memory of the Home Army (SZPAK).
    • The award-winning film (including the Second Prize, Srebrny Lajkonik, at the Kraków Film Festival, and the Grand Prix at the International Documentary Film Festival in Stockholm) tells the story of Wilhelm Brasse a photographer, participant, and witness of the most tragic chapter of 20th-century history. During WWII, his work was simultaneously a curse and a saviour.
  • Photography was Wilhelm Brasse’s great love. Trained before the war, he worked in a large studio on the main street of Katowice, where he became famous for his beautiful portraits. Captured during the war, Brasse was sent to a special reconnaissance unit of the Political Department, the camp Gestapo. There, under the supervision of the SS, he documented the life at Auschwitz concentration camp from its creation to evacuation. He photographed what he was told: the work of prisoners, SS officers meeting with their families, medical experiments. Above all, he took identity pictures of his fellow inmates.
    • Brasse’s photographs feature in numerous history textbooks published around the world. In the film, he talks about selected photographs and stories related to them, the savage behaviour of the Nazis, and ordinary people he met in his photographic studio.
  • Following the war, Brasse would never take another photograph.
  • Guests:
    • Ireneusz Dobrowolski
      • Film director and screenwriter, the author of August Sky. 63 Days of Glory and Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Stanisław Szukalski, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. Recipient of awards including:  Brama Wolności, the Silver Lajkonik, and the Warszawski Feniks award.
    • Anna Dobrowolska
      • Film producer, publisher. President and CEO of Film Street (founded 2002). Producer of award-winning documents in Poland and abroad. Author of the book Fotograf z Auschwitz (2013).
    • Marcin Kaczorowski
      • President of the Association for Preserving the Memory of the Home Army (SZPAK).
  • Moderator:
    • Klara Pawlicka
      • The director of the Ujazdowski cinema and curator of the film programme at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art.
  • The event accompanies The First Transport exhibition.


  • Admission is free, please collect free tickets at the information desk.


Event connected with:
Wojciech Korkuć
The Portraitist