Władysław Ślesicki

Poland, 1973


Staś and Nel are kidnapped. As the children manage to escape, they begin their adventurous journey home. They tamed the wild elephant, they helped the villagers to defeat a band of slave traders, met the Swiss geographer Linde, survived the Nel fever and bushfire, and finally, after many months – at the end of the force – to find the desperate fathers.


Władysław Ślesicki

The director of feature films and documentaries. He was born on January 5, 1927, in Warsaw and died on December 9, 2008, also in Warsaw. During the war he participated in the Warsaw Uprising. He was a commander in the Gray Ranks and a soldier of the Home Army. After the war he studied art history at the University of Warsaw. In 1955 he graduated in Directing from PWSTiF in Łódź (diploma obtained in 1959). Then, he worked in the Warsaw Documentary Film Studio where he made documentaries, many of which were received awards in Poland and abroad. It was not until 1969 that he made his feature film directorial debut. Moreover, he was a screenwriter and co-writer in all his films. In 2007 he was awarded the Polish Filmmakers Association Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement.

In his documentaries people appear in the closest connection with nature, which is their natural environment, and thus shapes their fate and personality. Similarly, his feature films reflect the prominent role of nature. The two-part film based on Henryk Sienkiewicz’s prose W pustyni i w puszczy (In Desert and Wilderness) brought him popular recognition and fame (over 30 million viewers in Poland).


1953 Wczasy – Blagier (academic short film)

1955 Jedzie Tabor (academic short film)

1956 Gdzie Diabeł Mówi Dobranoc (Documentary)

1957 Ludzie Z Pustego Obszaru (Documentary)

W Gromadzie Ducha Puszczy (Documentary)

1958 Spacer  W Bieszczadach (Documentary)

1959 Dzień bez Słońca (Documentary)

1964 Zanim Opadną Liscie… (Documentary)

1964 Dwudziesta Pierwsza (Documentary)

1965 Lato nad Bałtykiem (Documentary)

1966 Dzień na Jeziorach Mazurskich (Documentary)

1968  Ruchome piaski

1973 W pustyni i w puszczy (and TV series with the same title)

1979 Droga daleka przed nami

1982 Śpiewy po rosie

1984 Lato leśnych ludzi


Director: Władysław Ślesicki

Script: Władysław Ślesicki, based on novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz.

Cinematography:   Bogusław Lambach

Editing: Krystyna Rutkowska

Music:  Andrzej Korzyński

Color: colour

Duration: 195 min

Cast:  Monika Rosca (Nel), Tomasz Mędrzak (Staś), Edmund Fetting (Nel’s father), Emos Bango (Kali), Malija Mekki (Mea)


‘Screening of one of Henryk Sienkiewicz’s most popular novel. It was finished  in 1911 and was the last completed work of the writer. Archetype of Nel became the 10-year-old adopted daughter of a friend of Sienkiewicz, while the prototype of engineer Tarkowski (Staś’s father)  was Eng. Mieczysław Gieniusz, who worked on the building of the Suez Canal. Slave traders kidnapped his only son. The boy was never found.” (…)

Abort screen versions of In Desert and Wilderness

About director:

Awards: 1974 Oscar Italy

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