The Polish Language

Short Film, Animation, F-Rated
Directed by:
Alice Lyons, Orla McHardy
Produced by:
Steve Woods


8 mins

The Polish Language is a film-poem which brings an original poem by Alice Lyons to life through the medium of film.

The imagery in this poem is activated in imaginative ways through various styles of animation, employing hand-drawn, stop-motion, and time lapse techniques. The typography – the style, arrangement and appearance of the letters and words of the poem – is a central element in this film. The images, animations and graphics flow freely into each other mirroring the ebb and flow of the poem’s lines and verses.

This striking imagery is combined with an array of sounds such as the whispering of Polish poetry, the sound of keys tapping on a keyboard and the repetitive, distinctive noise of flicking paper. When blended seamlessly together with a musical arrangement by Justin Spooner, these sounds and images reveal the complementary possibilities of poetry and film.

This film is part of F-Rated: Short Films by Irish Women. To view more from the collection click here.

Bonus Content
Directors Alice Lyons (left) and Orla Mc Hardy (right) on research trip to Poland, 2008, on train between Łódz and Warsaw. Photo credit: Justyn Hunia
Early storyboard panel of the film
The poem translated into Polish and published in Poland (2007)
Zbigniew Herbert’s poem ‘Episode in a Library’ (‘Epizod w Bibliotece’) typed and re-typed end to end