Baby Blues - zwiastun
Magdalena Berus in Katarzyna Rosłaniec's "Baby Blues", photo: Łukasz Niewiadomski
With a Crystal Bear for Best Film for Katarzyna Rosłaniec's bold take on 21st-century aberrations, and the Teddy Award for Best Feauture for Małgorzata Szumowska's commentary about the present situation in the church, the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival gradually reaches its end.
Featured in the festival's two sections, Generation 14plus and Panorama, Katarzyna Rosłaniec's film Baby Blues is a portrayal of the extreme effects on teenagers of consumerism and imitation. Thinking that in the 21st century one can have it all, wishing to be like their Hollywood red-carpet role models, and suffering from unmet childhood needs, teenage girls want to have babies.
The film is a daring take on teen pregnancy that is "Far more than just another in the long line of films about teen pregnancy", as the programmers of 37th Toronto International Film Festival where Baby Blues premiered in September 2012, put it. The film's protagonist is seventeen–year-old Natalia who roller-skates the sidewalks of Warsaw with a pram, treating her baby as a trendy accessory. The baby’s father is a pothead, video-game enthusiast and skater.
At the 2013 Berlinale, the jury of the Generation 14plus section - composed of eleven children and seven teens - awards director Rosłaniec 's film with the Crystal Bear. The jury said,
In this film we were completely unprepared for the extreme way the story unfolds. Its bold editing style, colorful cinematography and innovative direction gave the film great dynamism. The film showed us strong and complex characters who often behaved in contradictory ways. These teenagers seem to be unable to acknowledge their mistakes and take responsibility for them. They are caught between the desire for freedom and the duties of being a young parent.
Baby Blues also received a Special Mention from the International Jury of the Competition, "We celebrate a fantastic, strong cinematic voice that confronts harsh realities with unexpected humour and style. Your strong imagery, compelling characters and a hard-hitting narrative captivated us", the jury said.
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Dieter Kosslick, the Berlin festival's director, said Malgosia Szumowska's In the Name Of is "A very up-to-date commentary about the present situation in the church". The film is about a homosexual priest who launches a help centre for troubled youths in a small parish. Well liked by the community, keeping the details of his complicated past a secret, he struggles with loneliness.
At the Berlinale, the film was chosen Best Feature Film 2013 in the Teddy Award category. Films from all sections of the festival compete for the Teddy Awards and they are presented in four categories. Szumowska is the first Polish director to receive a Teddy Award. The "most outstanding queer film prize in the world", the Berlinale website says, "is a socially engaged, political honour presented to films and people who communicate queer themes on a broad social platform, thereby contributing to tolerance, acceptance, solidarity and equality in society. Prize for for the Best Film in the LGBT category." The Teddy Award website states,
Malgoska Szumowska’s visually powerful film, charged with striking imagery from Christ’s Passion, dares to broach the still taboo topic of homosexuality in the priesthood. Confronted with his ‘forbidden’ desires, her protagonist experiences both moments of bliss and utter despair. A film about confused emotions, repression and loneliness – and the possibility of perhaps finding oneself after all.
The 63rd Berlin International Film Festival began on the 7th of February 2013 and ends on Sunday the 17th of February 2013.
Sources: Based on the original article by Bartosz Staszczyszyn for culture.pl, culture.pl, Berlinale, Teddy Awards
Editor: Marta Jazowska
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