Go Home Polish

Angered by graffiti scribbled in a British backstreet demanding ‘Go Home Polish’, a photographer embarks on a thousand mile walk back to his birthplace in search of home. Photographic artist Michal Iwanowski sets out on a gruelling walk across Europe, back to Poland, the place he was born. He’s previously walked over 2,000 kilometres tracing his grandfather’s escape from the Russian Gulag, but this walk is even more personal. He’s feeling the negative impact of Brexit Britain and his mother is worried about him. Cardiff has been home for 18 years, he thought he was accepted and embraced there, something he didn’t feel back in Poland as he's gay. So where is home now?

  • Ian Smith
  • Ian Smith
  • Rhys Livesy
  • Michal Iwanowski
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Arts, Documentary
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 25, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    6,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    Germany, Poland, United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, Polish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Iris Film Festival 2109
    United Kingdom
    October 13, 2020
    Official Selection 2020
  • Iris Prize 2020

    United Kingdom
    October 6, 2020
    Best of British
  • Lift Off - Amsterdam Film Festival 2020
    October 14, 2020
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Ian Smith

Ian Smith is a filmmaker based in Cardiff, Wales. Born in Lancashire he moved to Wales to study film at Newport Film School, where he was influenced by renowned documentary filmmaker John Grierson, the school’s Patron.  Ian went on to become a producer and director at the BBC where he produced a variety of formats, films and documentaries including Wales and Hollywood, How The Co-op Started, Homelessness: On the Edge. Ian also worked on drama formats including Doctor Who, War of the Worlds, Mistresses amongst many others. He continues to work for the BBC as a freelancer on current affairs, factual and music output. He also produces films through his company Auntie Margaret.

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Director Statement

‘My friend Michal was upset and angry and was suffering from the rising xenophobia in the UK after the crucial BREXIT referendum. It was hitting him on a deeply personal level. His act of walking back the place of his birth was to be both a journey of self discovery and quiet protest. As a film maker I felt this was an ideal opportunity to explore ideas of home and identity and take a personal journey with him to explore my own idea of home and nationhood.’ Ian Smith