Culture & Society News Poland

Netflix to release Poland’s Tribeca winner ‘The Hater’ online

Warsaw, Poland – Netflix has snapped up world rights for Polish director Jan Komasa’s The Hater (Hejter), which won Best International Narrative Feature at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The streaming platform will release the movie online in July.

The Hater will be available worldwide, except in Poland where Netflix subscribers will have to wait for March 2021, when the required licensing window following its theatrical release in the country expires.

Directed and written by Oscar-nominated Corpus Christi duo Jan Komasa and Mateusz Pacewicz, The Hater premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in the International Narrative Competition and won Best International Narrative Feature award.

The movie tells the story of a disgraced law student, played by Maciej Musiałowski, who’s desperately trying to get the attention of childhood friend, played by Vanessa Alexander, and the respect of her progressive family.

After taking a job at a high-profile but amoral PR company, Tomek soon finds that he excels at the dirty political games that he is asked to orchestrate on social media. As he gets sucked in deeper, his humanity slowly drains away, and it becomes less clear what the end game is.

Film critic Frederic Boyer writes that “The Hater is a thrilling commentary on how misinformation thrives in increasingly polarized societies”.

“Deftly weaving through worlds, from liberal fundraisers and art exhibitions to radicalized shooting ranges, director Jan Komasa paints a layered and complicated portrait of the modern world”, he adds.

Ola Salwa on Cineuropa calls The Hater “a thrilling tale of an anti-hero and of the survival of the fittest, which in this case means those who have a strong and agile thumb and index finger”.

The 19th Tribeca Film Festival, originally scheduled for April 15–26 2020, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic but still went ahead with juried prizes, which were ultimately announced on Instagram.

Earlier this month, Poland unveiled plans to introduce a “Netflix tax” on the revenue of video-on-demand platforms that would be paid directly to the Polish Film Institute (PISF), a state-owned cultural institution responsible for the development of Polish cinema and the promotion of Polish film worldwide.

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