Directed by Małgorzata Szumowska & Michał Englert, drama, comedy, 113 min, eng subtitles, 16+
Written by Małgorzata Szumowska & Michał Englert
With Alec Utgoff, Maja Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza, Weronika Rosati, Andrzej Chyra
Zhenia, a mysterious young masseur coming from behind the Eastern border, enters the lives of the rich residents of a bland, walled-off community on the outskirts of a Polish city. Despite their wealth, the inhabitants of this seemingly isolated fairytale town emit an inner sadness, a kind of longing. Zhenia has a gift, his hands heal their wounds and his eyes seem to penetrate their souls. To them, his Russian accent sounds like a song from the past, a distant memory of their childhood when the world was a safer place. Zhenia changes their lives.
The latest offering by the award-winning Małgorzata Szumowska (co-directed by her long-time collaborator, Michal Englert), which premiered in the competition programme of the Venice film festival, takes a cinematographic look at the wealthier part of Polish society, with some doses of magic, nostalgia and humour. The overwhelming inner calm and self-reliance of Zhenia comes into stark contrast with the restless, stressed and lost people who seem to have everything, and questions the meaning of their existence.
Venice IFF 2020 (Special mention)
Polish Film Awards 2021 (Best Cinematography)