Netflix adaptation of classic Polish novel Znachor becomes global hit
A Netflix production of the 1980s classic cult film “Znachor” is proving a run-away hit with international audiences, according to the latest information from the streaming giant.
The story of Professor Rafał Wilczur permeated the national consciousness years ago thanks to the 1982 film directed by Jerzy Hoffman, in which the title character was played by Jerzy Bińczycki.
Znachor has enjoyed huge popularity for decades amassing a cult following.
On the back of this popularity, Netflix recently gave the story a remake, rechristening their version as “Forgotten Love” for international audiences.
The film quickly became a hit on Netflix’s Polish platform and its popularity has spread around the world, with the show hitting the channel’s Top 10 most popular non-English language films in as many as 59 countries around the world!
"For the past five weeks, Forgotten Love has been in the Top10 most popular non-English language films worldwide," said Łukasz Kłuskiewicz, Netflix's director of films in Central and Eastern Europe.
Addressing the reasons behind the overwhelming international success of "Forgotten Love," Kłuskiewicz explained: "We put a lot of work into making sure that high quality is our hallmark.
“A great example of this is precisely Forbidden Love, where we have managed to achieve the highest production quality, which has been appreciated by viewers in Poland and abroad.”
He added: “The international success of this film was determined by the power of a moving, classically beautiful story with universal emotions. Of course, the level of production of 'Znachor', on which almost 2,300 people worked, is not insignificant.”
Since its debut in September, "Forgotten Love" has managed to amass impressive viewership figures, with viewers hitting the play button nearly 30 million times in just three weeks following its premiere, according to Kłuskiewicz.
Both the Netflix adaptation and the 1982 original draw inspiration from Tadeusz Dolęga-Mostowicz's renowned novel published in 1937, which narrates the tale of Professor Rafal Wilczur, an eminent surgeon left abandoned by his wife and daughter.
Beaten and suffering from memory loss, Wilczur takes on a new identity and settles in a small village. There, he gains recognition for performing a life-changing surgery on the miller's son, earning him the title of a 'znachor,' a rustic healer.
The story beautifully unfolds as, many years later, he shares a poignant reunion with his daughter.
Netflix’s rendition of the classic has garnered glowing reviews on English-language film sites.
“Drop everything you’re doing, log on to Netflix, and watch Forgotten Love (Znachor) right now,” wrote Jason Flatt on film site But Why Tho?
He went on to say that “it is one of 2023’s best romances by a landslide.”