2022 marks the 120th anniversary of the creation of films that are recognized as the first Polish feature productions – ‘Return of the riotus’ and ‘Adventures of a cabman’, created by Kazimierz Prószyński using a device specially constructed by him, called a pleograph. The original ‘Return of the riotus’ was lost, we know it only thanks to Bolesław Lewicki’s account of the show organized in 1938: ‘A day, a fragment of a street: a tenement house in the background (its part with an entrance gate up to the first floor), a pavement, a section of a road in the foreground. In front of the gate, a janitor in an apron is sweeping the pavement. A horse-drawn carriage approaches from the right, stops in front of the gate. In the carriage, a young man sprawled on the seat in a top hat and tailcoat visible from under a black cape or cloak. The young man is clearly drunk because he cannot get up on his own. The cab driver and the janitor help him get out of the cab. Then the riotus, with the help of a watchman, goes to the gate ”.

The film ‘Cinema’ in VR technology is not only an attempt to reconstruct the original film made by Prószyński in 1902 – it is also a story about telling a story, about man’s striving to create a story and its preservation. We also see the young Kazimierz Prószyński (Filip Urbanke), making his film with the help of an unusual machine of his own construction – a pleograph. Therefore, the viewer will watch not only the ‘Return of the riotus’ in the VR version, but also the filming process at that time. But that’s not all – ‘Cinema’ is a casket film, and the viewer notices that it really is … on the set of a contemporary historical production devoted to riotus (Jędrzej Taranek), and the consultant present on the set (Jakub Kamieński) raises a few doubts to the director!

Financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage as part of the Multiannual Government Program ‘Niepodległa’ for the years 2017–2022.

The project is financed by the state budget as part of the celebration of the centenary of independence and the rebuilding of Polish statehood.