Polish Netflix films, movies, and shows (Updated 2021)

Polish Films and Series on Netflix and Amazon Prime

The number of Polish films, movies, and shows on Netflix might not be huge, but the quality of Polish Netflix is still renowned.

Polish movies online are still distributed less abroad than films from other European nations, but Poland has been producing high-quality cinema since 1899 and continues to be some of the most awarded films in the industry.

Please note, due to copyrights, not all shows are available in each country. The shows listed here are available in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia.

Everything here is spoken in Polish with English subtitles or dubbing available, although for some films additional language options may be available.

 

Many films will be marked with language notes for language learners trying to find something that suits their level and trigger warnings for victims of violence or trauma.

We’ll also be dropping a 🏆 for any film that passes the Bechdel Test (having 2+ women, with names, have a conversation that’s not about a man.)

If you’re using this list because you’re studying Polish, check out more of our Polish language learning resources here!

Polish Films on Netflix

The Art of Loving 🏆

Genre: Historic biopic, feminist

Language: Polish

Subtitles: English, Polish, and 22 others available

TW:  Divorce, abortion, infertility, mild domestic violence

During Communist rule, a Polish gynecologist and sexologist defies taboo. Fighting her ways through war and two governments, Dr. Wislocka struggles to educate women in Poland about their health and pleasure.

This fictionalized version of the life of Michalina Wislocka (a feminist sex icon) is a must-see, and for that it’s the first Polish film on this list.

The Hater

Genre: Drama, dystopian

Audio: Available in the original Polish, Descriptive Polish for the visually impared, English, and 9 other languages.

Subtitles: Available in the original Polish, Polish Closed Captions, English, and 30+ other languages.

TW: Stalking, explicit anti-immigrant violence, racism/xenophobia, graphic

When the Dean finds out a young law student has lied, Tomasz is driven to scramble from one lie to another to move closer to the girl he loves. But as he struggles to keep his secrets, he finds himself in an avalanche that will not only change both of their lives, but the lives of millions throughout Poland.

Polish Shows on Netflix

1983

Genre: Historic fiction, sci-fi, dystopian

Audio: Available in the original Polish, descriptive Polish for the visually impaired, English, and 7 other languages.

Subtitles: Available in English, Polish, Polish CC, and 25 other languages.

TW: State violence, gun violence, kidnappings, terrorism, bombing

In this dark alt-history thriller, a naïve law student and a world-weary detective uncover a conspiracy that has tyrannized Poland for decades.

This Polish Netflix Original drama set in 2003 features an alternative timeline where the Cold War never ended, full of spies, conspiracies, and terrorist plots.

Zbrodnia (“The Crime”)

Genre: Drama, Police procedural

Language: Audio available in the original Polish, as well as Czech or Hungarian.

Subtitles: Available in English and 22 other languages (but not Polish).

TW: mild violence

Small seaside town Hel is rocked when a body is on the beach. Lives are ripped open and old stories exposed as detectives sweep through the community looking for answers.

Additional Language Learning Notes: If you watch this and Ultraviolet (the next series on this list) back-to-back you’ll have a ton of great repeating vocabulary to learn. Because the speech in Zbrodnia is a bit more formal and slower, and the characters a bit less exciting, my vote is to start with this one and then continue to Ultraviolet, you’ll stand a better chance at understanding more of that one.

Ultraviolet 🏆

Genre: Drama, detective thriller

Audio: Available in the original Polish (as well as Spanish or Czech).

Subtitles: Available in Polish, English, and 19 other languages.

TW: mild gun violence, mild sexual violence, suicide, some gore

An online community of amateur sleuths use technology to solve crimes — and make quirky friends — in their quest for justice.

Another Polish Netflix Original, Ultraviolet is on its second season of following thirty-year-old Ola Serafin who is thrown into a world of suicide, conspiracy, and amateur detectives after witnessing a dramatic situation which appears to be a suicide, but to which local police seem indifferent to.

Additional Language Learning Notes: These actors speak quickly and are not going light on the slang. If you’re a language learner, I suggest starting with Zbrodnia (listed above) first even though it’s not as good, then moving over to Ultraviolet (which is great).

Witcher 🏆

Genre: Fantasy

Audio: Although the series is based on a Polish book series, it’s filmed in English (with Polish dubbing available).

Subtitles: Available in English, Polish, and 28 other languages.

Dark magic, destiny, and invading forces plague the world. Monster hunter Henry Cavill rides towards fights through battles and danger which span a continent in this medieval-inspired Netflix series, based on the Polish book series with the same name.

Additional Language Learning Notes: Because the film switches between the actual language and an “old tongue” (a made-up language specific to the story), it can be exceptionally hard for Polish language learners to follow.

The Woods

Genre: Thriller, mystery

Audio: Available in the original Polish and descriptive Polish for the visually impaired, with dubbing in English and 7 other languages.

Subtitles: Available in English, Polish, and 22 other languages.

TW: Strong violence and suspense

The decades-old disappearance of four teenagers at a summer camp slowly unravels through the eyes of Grzegorz--the brother of one of the disappeared. What happened to them? Were there any survivors? And will Grzegorz survive to find out?

Honorable Mentions:

There are so few Polish Netflix shows (and even less dubbed into Polish) that can be frustrating for language learners. To help out anyone trying to learn the language, I wanted to add this to the list of cartoons dubbed into Polish since not only are they extra immersion material, but at a much lower level of understanding. (Pokemon is probably a low B1 and the others a higher B1.)

However, these are only available in Polish in the US and not in other English-dominant countries.

Polish Films on Amazon Prime

Screenshot from the Polish film "The Road Home" (no trailer available online)

The Road Home

Genre: Historic fiction, allegory, surrealism

Language / Subtitles: This movie mixes German, Polish, and English with built-in English subtitles during the non-English parts.

TW: War, bombings, animals in distress, adoption trauma, some warefare/bombing

As the curtain draws on WWII and another curtain is put up around Poland, a young boy must find his true family and his true self.

This 1970’s film is full of allegory, surreal dreams, and heavy symbolism that classic movie fans will love.

Ether

Genre: Historic fiction, steampunk, medical drama

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with some Russian. English CC subtitles available.

TW: Sexual assault, feminicide, medical trauma, psychiatric clinics, miscarriages/infanticide, torture, suicide, trench warfare

After the murder of a young woman, a doctor must flee Poland in order to continue his life’s work. But as his scientific experiments bring him closer and closer to controlling the will of man, will he be able to finish what he’s started before war or the state catch up to him?

Set just before the First World War, fans of historic thrillers, steampunk, and Victorian horror will appreciate this dark but gorgeous film.

Additional Language Notes: With scenes of the film taking place between modern-Poland, Russia, and Hungary, the film casually mixes languages in certain scenes. Polish language students and polyglots will enjoy trying to keep up between multilingual dialogue (and the subtitles will help).

The Last Loner (“Ostatni Samotnik”)

Genre: Action, apocalyptic, indie sci-fi

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio. English CC subtitles available.

TW: Military-style gun violence, modern warfare

In an alternative universe where experiments in Chernobyl continued after the reactor melted down, survivors of a second explosion tell haunting stories of mutant people, wild animals, and “abnormalities” beyond explanation. Now, over 30 years after the famous explosion of 1986, what is the government trying to hide there?

The Last Loner is an action-packed, independent film from Polish director Amadeusz Kocan. Kocan is best known for his docu-series The Last People of Chernobyl (featured further down on this list) which tell the real-life stories of the elderly people who still call the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone home after all of these years. Unlike the touching stories in that series, however, this film was actually sponsored by the Polish Military (yes, really) and is a pure Hollywood-esque apocolypse movie.

Fear of Falling

Genre:  Drama

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with built-in English subtitles.

TW: Psychiatric wards, elder neglect, negative portrayals of people with schizophrenia

Marcin, a father-to-be who’s news casting career is about to take off, gets pulled back into the life of his schizophrenic father. But as the TV star puts everything on the line in order to help his formerly-estranged father, will he be able to save himself in the process or get sucked into his father’s living nightmare?

Review’s Note: This film uses schizophrenia as a device to drive a dramatic plot. It’s on this list because of the high-profile actors and awards the movie received, but viewers should know that this is a dramatized version of what schizophrenia is like and does not reflect the disability how it presents itself in real life with real people.

Additional Language Notes: The built-in English subtitles sometimes skip some sentences throughout the movie, including in the first few sentences, so don’t stress if you don’t see them as you first start the movie.

Breaking the Limits (Najlepszy)

Genre: sports biopic

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with subtitles available in English CC

TW: Addiction/alcoholism, graphic use of hard drugs, domestic violence, death

Barely surviving a revolving door of drug dens and arrests, a petty-theft and junkie is forced to face himself and move forward to survive.

Set in Poland through the 70s-80s, this award-winning biopic of features an all-star cast as those close to him (and the rest of the country) watch Jerzy Gorski go on to become the first winner of the Ironman Triathlon against all odds.

Strange Heaven

Genre:  Drama

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with some Swedish and English. English CC available

TW: Child services/foster care

Based on true events, a Polish family moves to Sweden for a better life when their life unravels. One innocent misunderstanding leads Social Services to take their daughter and place her in foster care. Ula’s parents must undertake a dramatic fight to win back their daughter and save their family.

Polish Short & Experimental Films
on Amazon Prime

Szamota’s Mistress

Run time: 46min

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with built-in English subtitles

TW: Death

Lawyer Jozef Szamota comes to “Rosewood”, an abandoned manner to estimate it’s value. But as he spends more time in the estate, he begins to question his own sanity as he tries to reveal the secret of a mysterious woman that he met in an abandoned mansion.

This surreal horror-drama is short at only 46min minutes. I would recommend it to anyone who loves visually stunning movies, or (like me) loves history.

Siemiany

Run time: 18min

Language/Subtitles: Polish with English subtitles available

Trigger warning: Bullying, guns

This experimental film follows two friends, Andrzej and Michal, who came together every year in one of Poland’s many countryside tourist towns. As year after year the boredom grows, so does the boys’ relationship.

Additional Language Learning Notes: Slang, swearing, relatively easy to understand

Deer Boy

Run time: 15min

Language Notes: Totally visual film (no dialogue)

TW: Hunting

This short film follows the story of a hunter’s son, born with antlers, as it explores why we all kill the things that we love.

The film is a short 15 minutes and was an official selection for Sundance 2018.

Figure

Run time: 9min

Language note: Totally visual film (no dialogue)

This 9min micro-documentary follows its protagonist (a giant statue of Pope John Paul II) as the Figure passes towns, villages, houses, to land on top of a hill, next to spiders, saints, and bumper cars. Featuring playful sound design and incredible lighting direction, the film is a surreal tale about creating myths, religious kitsch, and the seemingly Polish-desire for greatness.

NOTE: The “trailer” here is the whole film, but for better quality and sound you can watch it through Prime.

Polish Documentaries
on Amazon Prime

Call Me Marianna 🏆

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with built-in English subtitles

TW: transphobia, medical/health trauma

A Polish LGBT+ documentary, the film follows Marianna, a woman on the verge of gender reassignment surgery. In a country where the procedure remains controversial Marianna struggles with her family, her identity, and the land where she was born.

All These Sleepless Nights

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with English subtitles available

What does it mean to be awake in a world that seems to be satisfied with being asleep? Director Michael Marczak pushes his vision of life and love onto the streets of Warsaw, adrift in uncertainty and awash with the optimism of youth. (Although this is a documentary, it’s highly stylized and probably scripted.)

Additional Language Learning Notes: The audio for this film is super fast-paced and slang-filled, so it’ll be a challenge for any language learner.

Wielki Teatr

Language notes: Totally visual film (no dialogue)

The Wielki Teatr in Warsaw is the largest opera theatre in the world. This art film brings the view behind the scenes to watch during rehearsals of Madame Butterfly and gives everyone the opportunity to glimpse the remarkable, unseen world of opera.

NOTE: The trailer here is the whole film, but you can watch it with better audio/visual through Prime.

Happy Olo

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with English subtitles available

In this quirky adventure-documentary-meets-persona-biography, Polish traveler Aleksander Doba tells tales about his time spent on traveling on the open Atlantic by kayak. National Geographic’s 2015 Adventurer of the Year, this feel-good documentary will inspire and entertain.

Additional Language Learning Notes: Slowly and clearly spoken Polish.

The Last People of Chernobyl

View Part 1 here and Part 2 here

Language / Subtitles: Bilingual in Russian and Polish audio with English subtitles

Trigger warning: Elder neglect, poverty

This two-part documentary follows a Polish charity organization that regularly visits the citizens of Chernobyl who refused evacuation orders in 1986. The films explore the daily lives of these senior citizens who live in the poisonous exclusion zone to this day, as well as their needs, frustrations, and memories.

(Editor’s note: while Part 1 is filmed a year before Part 2, it’s not essential to watch it before continuing onto the second part. Part 2 explores more of the residents’ daily lives and unique situations, as well as their relationships to the evacuation and the official government orders, so if you find Part 1 a little slow for your taste you can feel free to jump right into Part 2.)

Art of freedom -- The Himalayas

Language / Subtitles: Bilingual English/Polish documentary with built-in English subtitles

This contemporary documentary, released in 2011, follows the legendary Polish climbers from the 1980s. Poles have reigned the highest mountaintops of the world for more than 20 years: they not only set down new trails but new rules of behavior.

But what is it about Polish climbers that sets them apart from other nationalities? This documentary places their original style of climbing, endurance, conscientiousness about the overall well-being of the team, and solidarity against a political backdrop.

(Out of the 3 climbing documentaries here, this one centers itself around political struggles and climbing history between the 70s-80s.)

Alpine Wall Tour

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with subtitles available in Polish, English (UK), or English (India).

Another story about Polish climbers, this 45-min vertigo-inducing documentary follows Alpine Wall Tour follows Łukasz Dudek and Jacek Matuszek on some of Europe’s steepest mountain walls. The story is about friendship, adventure, and passion.

(Out of the 3 climbing documentaries here, this one largely focuses on 90° mountain walls and features the most actual climbing.)

Additional Language Learning Notes: subtitles can be hard to read at points; swearing

Screenshot from the Polish documentary "Mama" (no trailer available online)

Mama 🏆

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with subtitles available in English, Polish, or Czech.

This is the third documentary about Polish mountain climbers on this list, and it follows one of Poland’s sports icons: climber Kinga Ociepka-Grzepulska. After 20 years of climbing, she plans and executes climbing a route that no other woman has ever attempted.

(Out of the 3 climbing documentaries here, this is the most focused on a single climber’s biography and focuses the most on the training process across a lifetime.)

Political Dress

Language / Subtitles: Bilingual documentary with both Polish and English interviews. English subtitles available.

TW: Mild police violence

This documentary follows Polish fashion under Soviet rule and the relationship between politics and how we dress. The film interviews various figures of the 20th century, from photographers to designers, and strings together narratives over 50 years of design, independence, mimicry, and expression.

Screenshot from the Polish documentary "Tattoo Girls" (no trailer available online)

Tattoo Girls

Language notes: Almost no speaking. Some Polish audio with English subtitles for those parts.

This visually stunning documentary follows 7 women in the same city through their everyday lives: rising kids, participating in Polish culture, and exploring their city. Featuring beautiful cinematography and sound design, it silently shows the many layers of our seemingly-simple daily lives.

Screenshot from the Polish documentary "Goliat" (no trailer available online)

Goliat -- The Forgotten Hero

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with English subtitles available

TW: War

This documentary digs into the life of forgotten Polish-American war hero Juilan Kulski. Son of the president of Warsaw, Kulski fought in WWII and participated in the Warsaw Uprising, taking up arms at age 15 to fight for his country.

Additional Language Learning Notes: Relatively advanced and specific language, but spoken slowly and clearly.

Latino Cracow

Language / Subtitles: Dialogue primarily in Polish with some Spanish and English. Built-in English and Spanish subtitles.

This 23min mini-documentary explores the Latino population in the Polish city of Cracow. Who are the Latinos living on the other side of the world? Why did they come? And what do they think of the new country they live in?

It has a low-budget 90s vibe, but language and culture loves will find it’s unique perspective interesting.

Screenshot from the Polish documentary "Sun Quest" (no trailer available online)

Sun Quest 🏆

Language / Subtitles: Polish audio with English subtitles available.

TW: Poverty, climate change

This film follows a group of Polish engineering students as build, test, and ultimately race a solar-powered car through South Africa. When technical failures and weather push against them, will they overcome one problem after another to finish the competition?

Additional Language Learning Notes: Technical language makes this documentary a bit hard to understand for early and intermediate Polish students.

More streaming platforms with Polish movies and TV online

Because there aren’t as may Polish films and series on Netflix or Prime as there are in other languages, we’re constantly searching for more for students.

Here are a few more places you can find great Polish content.

  • GuideDoc -- An online streaming service for multilingual documentaries ($5/mo)
  • YouTube -- We don’t have an extensive list, but if you Google interesting keywords (in Polish) with the words “film dokumentalny” after, you’ll be surprised how much you can find.
  • Disney+ -- As of right now, only half-a-dozen Polish-language original content and some documentaries with dubbing are available in Polish. Nothing is currently available in Polish on Hulu, HBO, or Peacock.

Know of any others? Please leave a comment below so we can update it!

We’ll check back around every 3 months or so to update changes on Netflix and Amazon.

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Multilingual Marissa

I'm Marissa, and not only did I fail out of high school Spanish, but I also managed to forget my native language (Polish) in the process. After 10 years of establishing my career in the arts I decided to give language learning one last chance, and many years (and languages) later, I now help others online learn or relearn languages. I now speak English, Spanish, French, Catalan, Portuguese and am relearning Polish, my heritage language. I've also studied Italian, German, and other languages to low- or intermediate-levels for fun. If you want to relearn a language, I'd love to help!

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Marissa,

    I have found the New Europe group on Kanopy really excellent. I watched a film about an artist called Tomasz, and another one about Walerian B, a famous Polish film director.

    And SBS on Demand [the Special Broadcasting Service in Australia] has THE TEACH which is a police procedural about a teacher and his students.

    • Oh cool – so those are on different sites, not Netflix or Prime? I feel like there are soooo many good shows and films out there, but there a few more on Prime (and I think a new one on Netflix) I want to check out and maybe add to this list soon. Once I’m done with those, I’ll check these out too!

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