Papcio Chmiel

2020, 50 min.

Papcio Chmiel (2020)


Director Petro Aleksowski
Screenplay Petro Aleksowski
Cinematography Petro Aleksowski
Music Przemyslaw Rudz
Producer Barbara Aleksowska


Henryk Chmielewski “papcio Chmiel”
Olaf Mroczkowski
Monique Lehman


Papcio Chmiel” is a documentary about Henryk Chmielewski – the author of the longestrunning Polish comic book “Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek.” The 97-year-old artist is presented through the eyes of a 12-year-old fan of his work. In conversations with the boy, the bittersweet life of the man perceived as a symbol of humour and success through the prism of his comic book’s protagonist – a playful monkey – is described by Papcio Chmiel’s children, the artist himself, as well as his friends from both the past and the present. The life of Chmielewski, almost as long as the span of post-war Polish independence, has permanently intertwined with the events in his homeland. In a similar way, the film is infused with a parallel narrative of the story about Poland being one of the essential values of “Tytus, Romek i A’Tomek” comic book.

Olaf, the 12-year-old film’s protagonist, visits the artist’s home and in this way enters his world which usually remains inaccessible. This direct confrontation of characters, the clash of myth and reality, makes for the leitmotif of the documentary complemented with a plethora of archival materials.