The Pawnshop


  • Łukasz Kowalski
  • Poland
  • 2021
  • 81 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Best of Fests

Pawnbroker Wiesiek moved out of the center of an unnamed Polish city to a big warehouse in a poor, working-class district, and now no one is buying his wares. Wiesiek, his equally charismatic partner Jola and their staff are doing their best to boost interest, but the fact is sales are very slow. They spend most of their time having discussions, smoking and fighting the cold in the wintry pawnshop.

Local people may not be coming in to buy anything, but plenty of them are dragging in their own junk, and their problems. The kindly women in the recycling area are always ready to offer a listening ear, a cup of soup or a free winter coat. All the while, though, things are constantly breaking down and it’s getting difficult to pay the rent—let alone the staff’s wages.

In his sympathetic portrait, director Łukasz Kowalski shows how money problems threaten to drive apart this enterprising couple—to tragic, heartwarming and sometimes highly amusing effect. Visually appealing static shots capture the protagonists in this deprived neighborhood at their most vulnerable, surrounded by every imaginable kind of treasure and trash.


  • 81 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: Polish
  • Subtitles in: English
Łukasz Kowalski
Anna Mazerant for 4.30 Studio, Łukasz Kowalski for 4.30 Studio, Anna Mazerant for 4.30 Studio
Stanislaw Cuske
Adriana F. Castellanos, Filip Kowalski, Jakub Darewski, Kosma Kowalczyk
Krzysztof Janczak

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Best of Fests

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IDFA history

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