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April 2018, arsenal cinema

filmPOLSKA_Kamerakunst: Małgorzata Szyłak


One of the novelties of last year’s filmPOLSKA was the creation of a competition to strengthen young Polish filmmakers. Anna Zamecka’s documentary Komunia (2016) won it and the jury expressly mentioned the impressive work of the camerawoman and art historian Małgorzata Szyłak. This particular tribute provided us with a welcome occasion to invite Małgorzata Szyłak with two of her films back to Berlin to talk about her work.

KOMUNIA (Communion, Anna Zamecka, PL 2016, 27.4., guest: M. Szyłak) The 14-year-old Ola has her hands full: Not only does she have to prepare her younger autistic brother for the oral exam for his first communion, he also has to keep their father from drinking, look after the household and make plans to inspire the mother to return to the family. In the style of “direct cinema”, Szyłak’s camera becomes an additional family member and a necessary interlocutor for the adolescents who are left to their own devices over and over.

DZIKIE RÓŻE (Wild Roses, Anna Jadowska, PL 2017, 28.4., guest: M. Szyłak) Ewa returns home to a half-finished modern building in a remote part of Poland, to her two small children, after a stay in a clinic. Her return is not very joyous: Her daughter curses her, she is estranged from her husband who returns from months away working away, and there is also village gossip about her affair with a 16-year-old.  Szyłak’s flickering visuals translate the net of intrigues and small-mindedness closes in on Ewa. (mg)

filmPOLSKA is a Polish Institute in Berlin event in cooperation with the Polish Filmmakers Association (SFP) under the patronage of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, with the kind support of the Polish Film Institute (PISF), the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (IAM), and the Filmoteka Narodowa – Instytut Audiowizualny (FINA).