My Nikifor

Nikifor Krynicki (whose real name was probably Epifaniusz Drowniak) is one of the most outstanding primitive artists. He was illiterate, had a speech impediment and impaired hearing. He was also homeless and used to walk around with his portable painter’s workshop. He painted on every single scrap of paper, on cigarette boxes and on copy-book covers. In 1959 the first exhibition of Nikifor’s works was opened in the Dina Vierny Gallery in Paris and was the beginning of his international career. The film depicts the last ten years of the painter’s life.

In 1960, Nikifor walks into the studio of a painter called Wlosinski, located in the pedestrian zone in the well-known spa of Krynica. At first Wlosinski wants to get rid of his unwanted guest, but later he becomes fascinated by Nikifor’s personality and paintings. Wlosinski decides to take care of Nikifor, which leads to a crisis in his marriage. His wife leaves him and moves out to Krakow together with their children. But Wlosinski starts to learn about spiritual freedom and artistic independence from Nikifor. This is a profound film about devotion, friendship and freeing oneself from limitations. Nikifor is played by the excellent Polish actress Krystyna Feldman.

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