Mateusz Pacewicz is a screenwriter. He authored the screenplay for Jan Komasa’s ‘Corpus Christi’, which was nominated for an Oscar for the best non-English language film.
His screenplay turned out to be the most spectacular debut in Polish cinema of the last decade. For his first feature film in 2019, he received the award for best screenplay at the Gdynia Film Festival.
His path to success began a few years earlier with the true story of a boy who pretended to be a priest. Inspired by this story, Pacewicz, a graduate of the College of Interdisciplinary Individual Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw, created the first version of the script, for which he received the second prize in the Script Pro Competition in 2016.
Soon, his text attracted the interest of experienced filmmakers: director Jan Komasa and producers Leszek Bodzak and Aneta Hickingbotham. Under their direction, the young filmmaker worked on perfecting his script for many months. His work resulted in a story that was seen by over 1.3 million viewers in Polish cinemas alone.
Corpus Christi (Boże Ciało) by Jan Komasa - International Trailer
Corpus Christi is the story of Daniel, who leaves the walls of his reformatory and goes to the south of Poland to take up his first job there. However, due to an unusual coincidence, he abandons his original plan and starts pretending to be a priest in a provincial parish. The deeply religious teen, full of religious zeal and charisma, soon becomes the local community’s spiritual leader. However, black clouds quickly begin to gather over his head.
The story of the rebellious Daniel becomes multi-dimensional in Pacewicz’s script. Corpus Christi was a story about the formation of a young man’s identity and entering the roles that society prepared for us, but also about an internally divided Poland, full of resentment and negative emotions. Finally, Corpus Christi is a portrait of Polish religiousness, constrained by rituals, inexhaustible and unfit for contemporary times.
In his debut text, Pacewicz presented the story of the facade of Polish Catholicism and society’s need to believe. He drew a portrait of an individual clashing with social ostracism and trying to break through the barriers and limitations that it causes.
Suicide Room: Hater
For the 27-year-old scriptwriter, Corpus Christi became a golden ticket to the world of cinema, but also a huge challenge to overcome, as his debut script set the bar for himself very high.
It was also the beginning of his cooperation with Jan Komasa. Its next stage was the film Suicide Room: Hater, a story about the brutal world of contemporary teenagers. Jan Komasa’s film, based on a script by Pacewicz, was released in Polish cinemas on 13th March 2020.