Dedicated to screening rare & significant films in their original format.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run film society.

We hold screenings at The Australian Centre for the Moving image every Wednesday night for most of the year.

Admission is by membership, which can be obtained on a monthly or yearly basis.


October 14

Jerzy Kawalerowicz (1956) 98 mins

Criticised for its so-called Stalinist themes of secret agents and hidden enemies, this examination of the postwar postmodern condition is also a whodunit. When police, security agents and a medical examiner try to piece together an unknown man’s identity, they uncover three distinct chapters of a fractured individual’s sorry life, each reflecting the social, political and historical ruptures caused by the atrocities of World War II: the desperation and horror of the war, the immediate postwar devastation and the lasting effects on contemporary Poland.

35mm print courtesy of the Filmoteka Narodowa.

Jerzy Kawalerowicz (1977) 144 mins PG

Kawalerowicz’s rigorous film depicts in minute, historically accurate detail the almost accidental election and nearly immediate assassination of Poland’s Leftist first President, Gabriel Narutowicz. Filled with outrage at the perils of political fanaticism, the film draws clear parallels with the deaths of John F. Kennedy and Salvador Allende, while emphasising the peculiar uniqueness of this event in Polish history. Winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Kawalerowicz’s film emerges as a penetrating and urgent recreation that echoes the urgency of Costa-Gavras.

35mm print courtesy of the Filmoteka Narodowa.

CTEQ Annotation:
‘Death of a President (Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1977)’ by A.R. Teschner.


The Melbourne Cinémathèque started out as the Melbourne University Film Society (MUFS) in 1948 and changed its name to Cinémathèque in 1984.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque aims to present films in the medium they were created and as closely as possible to screen films the way they would have originally screened (i.e. big screen, celluloid prints, not video or DVD).

Programmes include a diverse selection of classic and contemporary films showcasing director retrospectives, special guest appearances and thematic series including archival material and new or restored prints.

We have on occasion hosted numerous seminars featuring renowned film scholars such as David Bordwell, Adrian Martin and Ian Christie. We are also dedicated to providing new annotations on the films we screen via the CTEQ annotations, hosted as a part of the quarterly online film journal Senses of Cinema.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered and membership-driven relying on support from individuals, foundations, corporations and government funding to maintain its high standard of excellence. If you would like to be involved, or to offer donations or sponsorship, please contact us.


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Currently there are no program changes to announce.