In the Ojcow National Park, in the very center of a nature preserve, there is a Care Centre. It is a shelter for 70 old men. They are mentally deficient and insane, waiting for death to come. The Centre is their whole world and nothing else exists beyond it. Everything behind the window is as remote and extraordinary as cosmic space. They don 't greatly differ from us. They each live in individual realities that are appropriate for their level of development. They fight with their own limitations and display every reaction caused by the effort to exceed these boundaries. Therefore, their encounters with other people are very solemn acts; their own spiritual victory. As a matter of fact, it is all about personal development. What we all have in common is the most important task - the desire to become a real human being by way of love. Before our very eyes, the new millennium opens for the Centre inmates.
Two people who solidly carry out their profession - that is post-mortem examination. None of us can understand how they can work like this and still be able to live a normal life. They come in touch with death in a very material sense. Out there, in a dissection room death starts to materialize; it is no longer metaphysical, physically only a mortal shell is still present.
Come What May
In his "Come What May", Marcin Koszalka goes back to the subject of his documentary debut "Such a Nice Boy I Gave Birth To". Besides his parents, this time he also films his wife and daughter. As in every relationship, they go through their ups and downs.
A great Krakow actor, Jerzy Nowak, has battled against a serious disease for years. The film is a record of his way of taming death and dignified preparation for its arrival. The hero is not indifferent to the posthumous fate of his body, which he bequeathed to the Medical Academy for scientific purposes. He talks with his lawyer and friends, with full awareness and acceptance of what is to come.
A funeral parlour in Kedzierzyn-Kozle and a dead body incinerator in Czech Ostrava. People who work there speak of death without emotions. It is a job like any other. They also have to compete for clients, so they organize an "Open Door Den" at Ostravas crematorium.
Sentenced for Life
Moving documentary about imprisoned women. Each of these women has her own story, but they are connected by this place, they spend part of their lives behind the bars, sometimes prison becomes their home. They all dream of freedom, men, new lives. The film shows them in the moment when the prison ward is the whole world. But filled with talks of freedom, past and future. Freedom is a main subject: discussed with hope and anxiety. They are afraid of returning to their lives outside. This film shows ordinary women, who support each other and together count down the time until freedom. We are allowed to watch their everyday life, joy, sorrow and dreams.
Till it Hurts
The story of a lonely, 53-year-old psychiatrist living with his severely overprotective mother. When a woman steps into the picture, a bad conflict breaks out. After years of sexual abstinence, Ewa brings out the man in him. His mother yells, 'Wake up, you're fifty- three!". He answers in St. Paul's words, 'Children obey your parents, honour thy father and thy mother and ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath.
All Day Together
Originally the film was intended to be a portrait of a day in the life of a Japanese woman. The result is a narrative imbued with subtle humour about how the Polish filmmakers set out to pursue their original concept for the film of which they ultimately achieve almost nothing. _ Ms. Otake is constantly busy, she puts off the filmmakers until later; when it finally seems that she is about to start speaking about herself, she goes on instead about the landscape outside the window. Cultural barriers prevent us from learning more than what etiquette permits. The universally poor level of English just reinforces the superficial experience: we can witness behaviour, but we cannot understand it. _ The director is the comic hero, the guest that in good faith wanted to convey a sense of life in another country, but in the end becomes a tiresome pest that the hosts feel compelled to drive off. He and the cameraman spend hours waiting. _ A remarkable feature of the film is the non-encounter it relates, which comes to form its central (and amusing) theme. The main attraction is the aloofness of the heroine: a sprightly seventy-year-old woman plays a game with Europeans about how boundaries cannot be crossed, and all that remains for them is to while away time in waiting areas. _ The director Marcin Koszalka studied sociology and then camera at Silesia University in Katovice. He shot this film about a Japanese woman during EXPO 2005. He is currently involved in the first Polish-Chinese co-production as a cameraman.
Such a Beautiful Son I Delivered
In 1999, Marcin Koszałka made his famous documentary Takiego pięknego syna urodziłam / Such A Beautiful Son I Delivered in which he depicted, with an honesty that verges on exhibitionism, his own family: the mother, the father and himself - reflected in the distorting mirror of reality. The film's main character is his mother, constantly reproaching the son for laziness and the father for his clumsiness and lack of resourcefulness. Five years have passed, the author has his own home and a family, but his life has not changed much. His wife and he unconsciously replicate the models of behaviour from their homes. During Sunday dinners at their parents' one can still hear the same old accusations - only this time they are repeated by the director's wife. Mother is as grumpy as always, alternatively supporting her son or her daughter-in-law. The silent father turns out to be a dramatic character. When asked if he would like to be young again, he says "no" with horror. But then, he tries to calm his son down by assuring him that "it will be OK". Truly, it turns out OK, but only because Koszałka's camera once again manages to capture people's best aspects. "The truth is always beautiful, even if it seems discreditable. Thus, revealing the truth about family relations can prove beneficial." (Tadeusz Lubelski, "Kino") "In spite of the directness that characterizes the protagonists' descriptions of themselves, the film contains nothing obscene, nothing that would give us the comfort of distance. The fate of the characters is engaging, because they do not attempt to flirt with the camera or to sell us their image. We follow the story only because they can share their uncertainty and the questions that seem both the simplest and the most difficult." (Anita Piotrowska, "Tygodnik Powszechny")
Made in Poland
IT'LL BE OK
Let's Run Away From Her
Another painfully intimate documentary by Marcin Koszałka is devoted to family matters seen through his sister’s experience. With a running camera adult siblings dissect their relations with parents and with each other. The protagonist of the film, affluent businesswoman, who still hasn’t come to terms with the death of their mother and father, becomes the director’s conscience. He is trying to get closer to his dead parents in his own way – filming the last moments of patients in a hospital.
The Declaration of Immortality
In his new film Marcin Koszałka returns to a forgotten genre, namely a mountain film. The protagonist of his story is Piotr “Mad” Korczak, somewhere in the background there is his rival Andrzej Marcisz. The director focuses on the decline of the career of the great master, provoking his reflection on his future life, when he will no longer be able to climb mountains. It’s a moving story about inability to come to terms with old age and about desire of immortality.
The beginning of this summer will be marked by a great sport event in Poland's history - the 2012 European Footbal Championship. While footballers are getting ready for the games, rumors are spreading about fraudulent transactions as new stadiums are being built, foreign players are being hired instead of poor Polish footballers and most Polish fans are truly convinced their team is not capable to win a match. Although some feel excitement and other sense disappointment, Marcin Koszalka's film attempts to look at the guts of Polish nature, interwoven with paradoxes, contrasts and contradictions. Having the best cameramen ready to record the art of football right there on the pitch, the director employs the whole frenzy to reflect on the proud nation.
This is the story of three cases dealing with Poland’s most famous serial killers, slaughtering with explicit sexual motivation. Joachim Knychała committed 5 murders, he has been dead for some time now, but there is a very dramatic diary of his, depicting his own point of view about the crimes. Besides that there is also a recording of a 6-hours-long interrogation that helps to disclose his motives, adding to the fact that unusual measures had to be taken to solve the case. Another killer, nicknamed Red Spider, has been living in Kobierzyn’s special psychic penitentiary for 46 years. The camera follows him living his detached life, immersed in artistic ambitions. The third convict is a brutal four-time murderer who left prison two years ago and now, though 60 years-old, lives an easy life in Ostróda with his old parents. In the end, it is necessary to pose a crucial question: what lies behind fascination with mass murderers?