From the American Wild West to Bojszowy: Józef Kłyk’s Westerns as Social Rituals


Jolanta Szymkowska-Bartyzel

Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland.

Józef Kłyk is an over 60 year old amateur film maker from Silesia region of Poland who for over 30 years has directed over 50 westerns. All his western movies are made with 16mm Russian camera and the shooting is done on location in or near the village of Bojszowo, with the use of local people as actors and film crew Kłyk’s films are a premier on the icons and symbols of the American Wild West: cowboys, Indians, saloons and  ‘Wanted  ‘signs.  In  his  film  stories  the  Author  invokes the history of the American West and the history of Silesian villagers who in 1854 left for Texas and founded Panna Maria. The paper aims to examine the incorporation of the concept  of  this  classical  American  film  genre  with  its  main distinguishing  features  in  amateur  production  of  the  Polish director. It will focus on the ritual character of the genre movie and demonstrate how Kłyk’s western production is used by local community of the village of Bojszowo for ritual  purposes.  Reconstruction  of  village and rebuilding the history of Polish emigrants in Panna Maria within the form of film genre serve basic social function of expressing, fixing and reinforcing the shared values and beliefs of a community.

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Published : 2014-05-15

Szymkowska-BartyzelJ. (2014). From the American Wild West to Bojszowy: Józef Kłyk’s Westerns as Social Rituals. Review of International American Studies, 7(1). Retrieved from

Jolanta Szymkowska-Bartyzel
Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland.  Poland
Jolanta Szymkowska-Bartyzel, Ph.D., is a lecturer at the Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora, Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland). She is one of the founders and editors of Ad Americam: Journal of American
Studies. Her scholarly interests focus on the history and reception of American popular culture in Poland. She published a book: Amerykański mit—polski konsument, czyli reklamowe oblicza Ameryki American Myth—Polish Customer, or Commercial Faces of America] about American myths and cultural motifs used for persuasive purposes in TV commercials. She is also an author of articles on American popular culture, Americanization and mass media communication.

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