directed by Rafael Lewandowski

90 mn & 52 mn, 2021, Poland


Zbigniew Herbert is one of the major humanist figures in the Europe of the 20th century. 

In 1956, from the publication of his first collection “Collected Poems”, he became one of the most appreciated poets in Europe and in the USA. His work, which draws on the heritage of ancient civilizations to highlight the links of a common European identity, has played a colossal role in the awakening of the mentalities of Eastern and Western Europe at that time separated by the Iron Curtain. 

Translated in more than 40 languages, his poems, many times awarded around the world, stand as hymns to freedom, human dignity and humanist values. Several times approached for the Nobel Prize, Herbert bequeathed us an immense, universal work which even today remains a great inspiration for artists and writers around the world. 

More than 20 years after the disappearance of the poet, HERBERT. A BARBARIAN IN THE GARDEN is the first feature-length documentary dedicated to Zbigniew Herbert.

about the director

Graduated from La Sorbonne in film studies and from the Directing department of La Fémis, Rafael Lewandowski directed numerous documentaries and short films widely distributed internationally. His first feature film La Dette (original title: Kret – international: The Mole) was released in France in 2012. The movie won, among others, the Male Interpretation Award at the 35th Montreal International World Film Festival, as well as the Press and Public Prize at the Arras Film Festival. In 2022, he directed for ARTE of a 6 x 52’ documentary series on the Algerian war : At War(s) for Algeria. Herbert. A barbarian in the garden, was selected for the Millennium Docs Against Gravity in Warsaw, the PFFA in Chicago and the Mescalito FF in Rome. 

Selective filmography 

THE MOLE (2010)(PL/FR)
(108’ / Metro Films, Kuiv Productions, Silesian Films, Le Fresnoy, Traffic, Non Stop, Vertigo) Awarded at Montreal IFF, Arras IFF, Los Angeles IFP … 


AT WAR(S) FOR ALGERIA (2022) (6 x 52’ / INA & ARTE) 
(86’ / Vertigo & Zygmunt Zaleski Stichting) 
MINKOWSKI | SAGA (2013) (85’ & 58’ / Vertigo & Fido Film) 
(45‘ / Studio Filmowe Kalejdoskop, TVP 2) 
THE ART OF SILENCE (2008) (55‘ / Eureka Media, TVP Kultura) 
(74’ & 52’ / digital beta / Kuiv Productions & Studio Filmowe Kalejdoskop) 
DON GIOVANNI; BEHIND THE SCENE (2003) (75’ / digital beta / Canal + Polska) 
(90’ / digital beta / Yenta Production, La fémis & Cités Télévision) 
(52’ / S.16mm / Porte Rouge, Images Plus & Rougemarine) 
CELA [TSÈLA] (1996)
(52’ / 35 mm / La fémis & Fidélité Productions) 


Millenium Docs Against Gravity, Mescalito Biopic Fest Awarded at Chicago PFFA 2021


DIRECTOR Rafael Lewandowski
SCREENWRITERS Rafael Lewandowski, Andrzej Franaszek 
VOICE – OVER Andrzej Chyra
PRODUCTION COMPANY Donten & Lacroix Films, Lutetia Arabians 
PRODUCERS Maria Blicharska, Hélène Zaleski, Monica Szaniawska- Szafranska 
CO-PRODUCERS TVP, Canal +, Mazovia Institute of Culture
CO-FINANCED BY Polish Film Institute
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH The Zbigniew Herbert Foundation

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