Feature film 2009, dir. Marcin Wrona. A feature debut based on the screenplay titled "Tamagotchi", third prize winner of the prestigious Hartley-Merill Screenplay Competition...
One of the most promising filmmakers of his generation, Marcin Wrona was first noticed when he had made his diploma movie, Człowiek Magnes / The Magnet Man, in 2001. He has since won a number of awards, including one at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. In 2007 Wrona received the first prize in the Polish edition of the prestigious Hartley-Merill Screenplay Competition as well as winning the third prize in the Competition's international edition. He then used this prize-winning screenplay, titled Tamagotchi, in Moja krew / My Flesh and Blood, his filmmaking debut which earned its crew the Screenplay and Sound Awards as well as the Journalists' Award and the prestigious Zbyszek Cybulski Young Actor Award (for Eryk Lubos in the leading role) at the 2009 Koszalin "Młodzi i Film" Film Debut Festival.
Moja krew is a story of Igor, a young boxer whose march to the top is suddenly stopped by a contusion which ends his boxing career. He embarks on a helpless rebellion, seeking solace in nightlife entertainment, but soon comes to the realization that the best way to commemorate yourself is to have progeny and so he chooses a prospective mother - a young Vietnamese woman who is staying in Poland illegally. Purely physical at first, the relationship soon awakens the need for a stronger emotional bond. The girl becomes pregnant and Igor is preparing for a wedding. When, however, it transpires that he is not the child's father, the dream of a happy life together bursts - and yet the need to emblazon yourself on human minds remains. Igor finds a friend whom he once betrayed. Reviving an old friendship proves difficult, but not impossible.
"This does not seem just a melodrama in surrealist realities", writes Andrzej Kołodyński in the magazine "Kino" (no.2/2010). "The surrealism is the effect of the complicated history of our times - of a new Migration Period - and as such it was bound to be utilized. Paradoxically, though, the probability of the plot does not count. What we are watching is a story of noble sacrifice: in the last spur of energy Igor saves his depraved friend from the ring and gives his girlfriend back. There are tears when necessary and at the end there is a moving question: 'Was it as it was supposed to be?'. The story is not very probable, but maybe that is why it merits a film."
Wrona admits that, in a way, Moja krew is autobiographical - like Człowiek Magnes, which was about his father, and says in an interview for the internet portal www.stopklatka.pl:
"Igor is forced to embrace the world, to embrace the people and to accept the fact that to function in the world, you need others, you should understand them and keep close to them not only when you need them. It's an emotional film and sometimes a wild one, but this was what I was after. The main character, rather uncouth at the start, needs to grow up to become responsible for other people, for future life. Children are born out of love. Without feelings, we are machines. I find it most difficult to talk about the simplest things. Igor, too, is at first unable to name his condition. In the beginning he uses his fists, but then there is a change. At the time when we were writing the screenplay, I intended to start a family, and some of my thinking from that time is in the film. Nothing came out of the family, but the film is there. I was a sportsman once, too, and had to give it up, had to build a new future, due to a contusion. And I had a personal relationship with Vietnam. This film was not invented at the desk. The screenplay is made of stories and situations taken from life, and life is the best screenwriter."
The most striking feature of Moja krew is its authenticity - even if it is much styled. Wrona not only lays bare the emotions of his characters, drawing the portraits of the persons of the drama with a fine line, but also, using almost documentary shortcuts, shows the life of the Vietnamese community in Poland - something that until now was ignored by the filmmakers. But the main strength of the film is Eryk Lubos, an actor of a great potential which Wrona used very well. Lubos lends expressive credibility to his character and, more importantly, has a personal charisma which warms the audience to someone who is instantly repulsive. "It wasn't acting, it was being", said Lubos about his role in what will hopefully be his permanent artistic creed.
- Moja krew / My Flesh and Blood, Poland 2009. Directed by Marcin Wrona; written by Marcin Wrona, Grażyna Trela, Marek Pruchniewski; photography by Paweł Flis; music by Macuk; art manager: Anna Wunderlich; costumes by Aleksandra Staszko; editor: Jarosław Kamiński; sound: Tomasz Sikora. Starring: Eryk Lubos (Igor), Luu De Ly (Yen Ha), Wojciech Zieliński (Olo), Marek Piotrowski (Igor's coach), Krzysztof Kolberger (neurologist), Joanna Pokojska (Monika), Hai Bui Ngoc (Cuong), Magda Szeplik (Patrycja), Monika Obara (Zuza), Piotr Sienkiewicz ("Małolat"), Małgorzata Zajączkowska (USG doctor), Roma Gąsiorowska (nurse) and others. Produced by Opus Film - TVP S. A. Agencja Filmowa - Canal+ Polska. Co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Distribution: Hagi Film. Duration: 90 min. Released on 5th February 2010.
Author: Konrad J. Zarębski, February 2010.