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The Pawnshop

1h 21m Documentary 2022

A pitch-black but tender docu-comedy about the eccentric proprietors of Poland’s largest pawnshop – and their absurd idea to save a business lost in time.

Flamboyant old couple Jola and Wiesiek run Poland’s largest pawnshop – located on Perseverance Street, no less – a place where you can find religious trinkets, DVDs and leather jackets, have a sausage with the owners or hold court discussing a kitchen blender. But times have changed, and this once-profitable business is on the verge of bankruptcy. Determined to save the store and inspire the town, the choleric proprietors hatch an idea that just might be crazy enough to work.

Expertly interweaving caustic humour with compassionate humanism, Łukasz Kowalski’s film follows the ups and downs of this shabby bazaar, its larger-than-life owners and the colourful cast of patrons drawn to its orbit. Hilarious and immensely entertaining, The Pawnshop is also a bittersweet chronicle of a way of doing business – and a focal point for a local community – that’s fast fading into history.

“Tender yet brutally honest … [The Pawnshop has] the kind of tragicomic gaze that makes this film such a pleasure to watch.” – Cineuropa

Director

Lukasz Kowalski

Producer

Anna Mazerant

Producer

Lukasz Kowalski

Screenwriter

Lukasz Kowalski

Cinematographer

Stanislaw Cuske

Languages

Polish, with English subtitles

Origin

Poland

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