All That I Love - Jacek Borcuch
Film still, photo: www.filmpolski.pl
The young heroes of All That I Love are witnesses of the politically turbulent period of the early1980s - the time of oppressive Martial Law and the rise of Solidarity
A teenager named Janek sets up an aggressive punk rock group called WCK ["Wszystko co kocham"]. Initially the group's music is more about the generation gap than a protest against the system, but over time it combines the two.
At first the group dreams about playing at one of the rock festivals - holidays and first loves are more important than political tensions and the deep rift dividing the nation. Janek is WCK's lead singer and his father is a Naval Officer. Basia's father is a harbour worker and a Solidarity activist. The political leanings of their parents do not come in the way of the growth of Janek and Basia's mutual affection, but when martial law is declared the army interns Basia's father and their lives are changed forever.
Janek and his father travel to visit Janek's dying grandmother and this trip strengthens the bond between them. The father develops a better understanding of his adolescent son and helps to organize the group's concert at a school party. Unfortunately, the town's military commissar - a functionary holding absolute power under the martial law - cancels the concert, blaming the obscenity of the lyrics. However, the boys defy his decision and their concert goes down in history as the biggest protest since the outbreak of Solidarity in the summer of 1980. This costs Janek's father his military career and Janek's mother loses her job, too. The key thing for Janek and Basia is, however, that they can reunite. The reunion is short-lived, though, for as soon as Basia's father is released from internship, the family decides to emigrate.
Jacek Borcuch's film has been compared to a nostalgia-tinted generational drama evocative of Radosław Piwowarski's films set in the 1960s. However, given Borcuch's age (he was born in 1970), it is not a memoir, but an attempt to perpetuate the legend of those tumultuous and in a way heroic times which had their sentimental moments, too, especially seen from the perspective of young people growing up. Following a proven track, Borcuch has styled All that I Love after the 1970s (just the way he did when making Tulipany in 2004) so that he could add something which would place this universal story about adolescence in a definite historical time. In this film this "something" is music: songs by the legendary Polish punk group Dezerter and similar songs by Jaromir Krajewski.
The youthfully expressive soundtrack and the enthusiasm of the young actors, especially Mateusz Kościukiewicz and Olga Frycz as the couple in love in spite of their parents' disapproval build a storyline which is clever, fluid and, most importantly, psychologically and historically credible. Older actors have tuned in with the younger ones, particularly Andrzej Chyra as Janek's father.
The film received favourable reviews at the Gdynia Festival and won the art direction award (Elwira Pluta) and Złoty Klakier / Golden Clapper Audience Award for the most applauded film.
The film was the first Polish production to screen at the Sundance film festival, making its debut in 2010. The Polish Oscar Commission, chaired by filmmaker Agnieszka Holland, selected the film as its candidate for the Foreign Language Film category for the 2011 Academy Awards.
- Wszystko co kocham / All That I Love, Poland. Written and directed by Jacek Borcuch; photography by Michał Englert; music by Daniel Bloom; art direction by Elwira Pluta; costumes designed by Magdalena Maciejewska; edited by Agnieszka Glińska, Krzysztof Szpetmański; sound by Tomasz Dukszta, Bartłomiej Woźniak. Starring: Mateusz Kościukiewicz (Janek), Olga Frycz (Basia), Jakub Gierszał (Kazik), Andrzej Chyra (Janek's father), Anna Radwan (Janek's mother), Katarzyna Herman (Sokołowska), Mateusz Banasiuk (Staszek, Janek's brother), Igor Obłoza (Diabeł), Marek Kalita (Sokołowski), Zygmunt Malanowicz (Janek's grandfather), Elżbieta Karkoszka (Janek's grandmother). Produced by Prasa i Film, TVP S.A., Canal+ Polska. Co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Distribution: ITI Cinema. Duration: 95 min. Released on 15th January 2010.
Author: Konrad J. Zarębski, November 2009.
- 2009 - Art Direction Award for Elwira Pluta; Radio Gdańsk Złoty Klakier / Golden Clapper Award for the most applauded film; Australian Distributors' Golden Kangaroo Award for Jacek Borcuch - all at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.