I Am REN (Jestem REN)

I Am REN (Jestem REN) Poland (2020) Dir. Piotr Ryczko  Not everyone is directly responsible for their actions. Mental illness has a habit of making us behave against character, the struggle extending beyond us to our families too. Pin pointing the exact root of the problem isn’t always easy - trauma can lead to loss … Continue reading I Am REN (Jestem REN)

Fugue (Fuga)

Fugue (Fuga) Poland (2018) Dir. Agnieszka Smoczynska Memories are important to us all. To lose them is tragic but an unfortunate inevitability as we get older, or suffer temporary memory loss caused by an accident or trauma. But might there be a situation where being free of bad memories is a positive? One morning in … Continue reading Fugue (Fuga)

Werewolf (Wilkolak)

Werewolf (Wilkolak) Poland (2018) Dir. Adrian Panek As filmmakers continue to mine World War II for inspiration to tell stories either fictional or based on real events, Polish director Adrian Panek tries something a little different for his second film. No lycanthropes here I’m afraid, instead Panek looks at the post war struggle for normalcy … Continue reading Werewolf (Wilkolak)

Whatever Happens Next

Whatever Happens Next Germany (2018) Dir. Julian Pörksen Go on, admit it - you’ve just wanted to forget everything and just walk away from it all, with no destination in mind as long as it is as far away from the mundanity of everyday life. But, we are too sensible for that and take our … Continue reading Whatever Happens Next

Nina

Nina Poland (2018) Dir. Olga Chajdas There are many moral dilemmas in life born from acts of altruism and generosity at their purest, fraught with many frustrating complications that are frankly inevitable. Chief among them would be the act of surrogacy, a noble deed blighted by the complexities of human emotion. For teacher Nina (Julia … Continue reading Nina

Mug (Twarz)

Mug (Twarz) Poland (2018) Dir. Malgorzata Szumowska We are constantly told that what we look like on the outside has no bearing on the sort of person we are on the inside, yet as humans, we cannot help but judge people on face value, pardon the pun. This notion makes up part of the struggle … Continue reading Mug (Twarz)

Cold War (Zimna wojna)

Cold War (Zimna wojna) Poland (2018) Dir. Pawel Pawlikowski Shakespeare famously wrote “If music be the food of love, play on" (from Twelfth Night, just in case you ever wondered) but there are times where the lyrics and melody just don’t gel as they should, or maybe the band should stop playing altogether. In 1947, … Continue reading Cold War (Zimna wojna)

Demon

Demon Poland (2015) Dir. Marcin Wrona There is a tragic backstory to this Polish horror film - director Marcin Wrona committed suicide during the Gdynia Polish Film Festival where it was being shown in competition. The press reported Wrona’s death as the result of depression, alcohol, stress, etc. but an interview shortly filming was completed … Continue reading Demon

The Lure (Córki dancingu)

The Lure (Córki dancingu) Poland (2015) Dir. Agnieszka Smoczynska Even as Europeans (but not for much longer, thanks Brexit!) we Brits still marvel at the esoteric and idiosyncratic take our geographical cousins have on their cinema. A case in point is this musical horror fantasy based loosely on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, with … Continue reading The Lure (Córki dancingu)

United States Of Love (Zjednoczone stany milosci)

United States Of Love (Zjednoczone stany milosci) Poland (2016) Dir. Tomasz Wasilewski Don’t be fooled by the title, this isn’t a paean to the Peace and Love ideal of the 1960’s. This challenging third film from Polish auteur Tomasz Wasilewski is hardly a barrel of laughs and certainly doesn’t propose to offer any peaceful resolutions … Continue reading United States Of Love (Zjednoczone stany milosci)