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THE PEASANTS Trailer: Love & Tragedy Unfold In DK & Hugh Welchman’s Oil-Painted Spectacle

The creators of the sensation Loving Vincent are back with a new oil-painted feature. The Peasants is adapted from Władysław Reymont’s 1904 Nobel Prize-winning novel. Set around that era in the Polish village of Lipce, DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman’s sophomore feature tells a heartbreaking story about a young peasant woman who creates havoc when she is forced to marry a wealthier older man. Much like Loving Vincent, it was originally filmed in live-action before each frame (about 40,000 of them) was painstakingly hand-painted by over 100 artists. The film stars Kamila Urzedowska, Robert Gulaczyk (who played Vincent Van Gogh in Loving Vincent), Mirosław Baka, and Sonia Mietielica. It had its world premiere at TIFF before becoming Poland’s official submission of the 96th Academy Awards. Sony Pictures Classics has just released the captivating trailer ahead of its release later this month.

In their review from TIFF, HtN said “Following up on their groundbreaking animated achievement Loving Vincent, [DK and Hugh Welchman] ambitiously adapt Władysław Reymont’s Nobel Prize-winning novel to provide insight into a unique culture during a period where reputation and staunch beliefs overpowered individuality and personal freedom… What results is a captivatingly sensuous and tragic tale with visuals that demand you see it on the biggest screen you can find. You’ll be stunned to learn this film was first filmed in live action, then over 40,000 frames of oil paintings made over them. Each frame oozes with passion, and not a single one is wasted… Despite its non-contemporary setting, the themes of self-liberation, social climbing, and misogyny are just as relevant… There are many deep truths within this heightened reality, and DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman do not shy away from revealing them through grace and tragedy. Once you experience The Peasants, its beauty and sorrow will not let you go.

Here’s the official synopsis:

The Peasants tells the story of Jagna, a young woman determined to forge her own path within the confines of a late 19th-century Polish village – a hotbed of gossip and ongoing feuds, held together, rich and poor, by pride in their land, adherence to colorful traditions and deep-rooted patriarchy. When Jagna finds herself caught between the conflicting desires of the village’s richest farmer, his eldest son, and other leading men of the community, her resistance puts her on a tragic collision course with the community around her.

The Peasants opens in NY on January 26 and LA on February 2 before expanding nationwide. See the trailer and poster below.


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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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