Małgośka Szumowska has been awarded a Silver Bear for Best Director at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.
The members of the international jury – Darren Aronofsky, Daniel Brühl, Bong Joon-ho, Martha De Laurentiis, Claudia Llosa, Audrey Tautou and Matthew Weiner – awarded the Polish director for her film Ciało (Body). She tied with Radu Jude, who received a Silver Bear for his film Aferim.
Szumowska’s film was one of the biggest revelations at this year’s Berlinale, and due to high interest, the organizers had to schedule additional showings for the press. Ciało has been received with great enthusiasm from the very beginning. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung called it "a dark pearl of the festival which introduces a new genre to the world of cinema", meanwhile a journalist of the prestigious Screen Daily wrote that Ciało brings back Krzysztof Kieślowski’s works. Szumowska’s film has also received highly positive reviews from Polish critics.
The screenplay of Ciało was written by Szumowska and Michał Englert, her long-standing cinematographer. It’s a psychological comedy-drama about an embittered prosecutor and his anorexic daughter, and also about her therapist, who contacts the spirits of the dead.
We wanted to make a film about anorexia, but we decided it would be too hermetic. Too brutal and difficult for viewers to bear. That is why we started to think about a film about the body. About different approaches towards it. The young character of Ciało is anorexic. As a prosecutor, her father often examines corpses, he has almost physical contact with death. The therapist is looking for contact with the spirits of the dead – astral bodies, but she neglects her own body at the same time.
– said Małgorzata Szumowska at a press conference.
Ciało is Szumowska’s fourth film to be presented in Berlin, but the first to receive such an enthusiastic reception. In 2013, her W imię… / In the name of… was distinguished with a Teddy Award, presented to films with LGBT topics. In the race for the Golden Bear for Best Film, Szumowska’s film competed against such titles as Knight of Cups by Terrence Malick, Queen of the Desert by Werner Herzog and Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella. The main prize this year was presented to Jafar Panahi for Taxi.
A Polish-Russian-Ukrainian coproduction, Pod electricheskimi oblakami / Under Electric Clouds by Aleksiej German Jr., was another Polish touch at this year’s Berlinale. The film's two cinematographers, Evgeniy Privin and Sergey Mikhalchuk, received a Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution.
More information is available on the official website of the Berlin International Film Festival
Source: Berlinale.de, Culture.pl, Rzeczpospolita. opr. BS.