Advanced Television

TVP announces chess biopic Shattered Games

February 22, 2024

Polish public broadcaster Telewizja Polska S.A (TVP) has announced its new Polish-language feature film Shattered Games (59’) will lead TVP’s EFM slate alongside recently announced rom-com film The Love Buzz and historical series The Bay of Spies.

Produced by TVP and executive produced by Studio Basta, Shattered Games explores Poland’s rich history and influence in the game of chess. The “Golden Team” conquered the world at the beginning of the 20th century as the Polish national chess team, including winning the world championship in Hamburg in 1930. The matches the team played are still to this day described in chess textbooks as examples of masterful moves and games.

The film focuses on the leader of the pack, Akiba Rubinstein, one of the greatest chess players never to become world champion, alongside his fellow Golden Team stars Dawid Przepiórka, Ksawery Tartakower, Mieczyslaw Najdorf, Paulin Frydman and Kazimierz Makarczyk. The players struggle for the greatest trophies, the glamour, the professional and social triumphs as well as dealing with the accompanying mental illness of grandmaster Akiba Rubinstein – only to be interrupted by the outbreak of World War II.

We follow the fate of these brilliant Polish players, among whom are Jews, against the background of the thickening political atmosphere of pre-war Europe.

A unique glimpse into the first decades of the 20th Century, Shattered Games was filmed in the interiors of historic pre-war palaces and townhouses, while the sanatorium for the insane which Rubinstein is sent to is filmed inside the famous castle in Moszna, Poland, where a neurosis treatment center operated in the 1970s.

The film was directed by Marek Bukowski and exec produced by Jacek Stanclik and Piotr Mikołajczak.

Urszula Suszko, Chief Sales Executive  of International Sales at TVP, said: “The heroes of the film are like characters from American cinema of the 1930s or later Cinema Noir. They form a tight-knit group of friends, led by the charismatic David Przepiórka, while the brilliant Akiba Rubinstein shines as its most splendid world-famous star. The outbreak of war marks the end of this elegant world and leads to the final disintegration of a golden, brilliant team, known in the Polish chess world as the Bombenmannschaft.”

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