Feature film directed by Feliks Falk, 2005. A story of an incorruptible and efficient collector, which automatically puts him in the position of the public enemy, as he ruthlessly collects the debts of its members.
"You must not take this film literally", says its director, Feliks Falk. "It requires a metaphorical, metaphysical interpretation".
It is hard to take metaphysically the film of a director of the cinema of moral anxiety, whose Wodzirej / Top Dog and Bohater roku / Hero of the Year are flagship films of a genre that showed Polish reality of the time they were made. Falk waited for a good feature script for ten years, so audiences and critics necessarily had to compare The Collector with his earlier films.
"There are many similarities between Lucjan Bohme and Lutek Danielak [the protagonist of 'Top Dog'], but also many differences. One of them is that he is able to stop himself in his drive for - well, what exactly? - for a career, power, or maybe for the simple pride, conceit and arrogance that comes with wealth and a sense of superiority", Falk says.
The film is based on a script by Grzegorz Łoszewski which won in the Polish competition for the Hartley-Merrill Screenwriting Prize. It is the story of a star of the Wałbrzych debt collectors' association - Lucjan Bohme. Bohme is an incorruptible, efficient collector, excellent at his job, which automatically puts him in the position of an enemy of society, as he ruthlessly collects the debts of its members.
"Debt collectors are a rather unique professional group, unique and also quite appealing. There are many myths about their ruthlessness and decisive manner, about their earnings, myths that are repeated especially now, in the context of the steps collectors are taking against indebted hospitals", says the director.
There is an anecdote that after the film's screening, lead actor Andrzej Chyra was invited by a group of debt collectors to work for their company.
The film, or at least its first half, is an excellently constructed drama. The collector is doing his job, collecting due debts. He is cruel, full of pride and self-confidence. The film begins with the collector's raid on a hospital, where he seizes life-saving equipment to which patients are hooked up. We see the collector in action, a collector whose conduct increasingly pushes the viewer to take the side of "the wronged" and not the law. The Collector portrays a corrupt world in which people oppress other people, a world with no room for the weak.
Suddenly, Bohme experiences a revelation, he sees the Virgin Mary. The film changes from a drama into a fairy tale. Bohme tries to redeem himself as quickly as possible - he gives people back their money and seized items. His transformation is sudden and unexpected, the film's convention changes completely, and the viewers have to transport themselves rapidly from almost documentary Wałbrzych into a world of fairy tales.
Screenwriter Grzegorz Łoszewski has emphasized that he wanted to show that good never automatically replaced evil. And good starts from the truth, for which you have to fight. The film was awarded at many festivals, and was also Poland's submission for an Oscar.
- Komornik / The Collector, Polska 2005. Directed by Feliks Falk, screenplay by Grzegorz Łoszewski, director of photography: Bartosz Prokopowicz, production design by Anna Wunderlich, costume design by Małgorzata Braszka, music by Bartłomiej Gliniak, film editor: Krzysztof Szpetmański, producer: Janusz Morgenstern. Featuring: Andrzej Chyra (Lucjan Bohme), Małgorzata Kożuchowska (Anna Zenke), Kinga Preis (Gosia Bednarek), Grzegorz Wojdon (Jasiek Marczak), Jan Frycz (Chudy), Sławomir Orzechowski (Wiśniak), Marian Dziędziel (Horst), Marian Opania (Robert Chełst), Mieczysław Grąbka (Prosecutor), Dariusz Kowalski (Zenke). Co-produced by Andrzej Serdiukow (TVP), Paweł Mossakowski (Canal+), Włodzimierz Niderhaus (WFDiF). Produced by Telewizja Polska, Canal+ Polska, Studio Filmowe Perspektywa, Wytwórnia Filmów Dokumentalnych i Fabularnych (Warszawa). Cinema premiere: October 7, 2005.
- 2005 - Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia: Grand Prix - "Golden Lions" Jury's Main Prize for Feliks Falk, award for the producer - Janusz Morgenstern, award for best screenplay for Grzegorz Łoszewski, award for best cinematography for Bartosz Prokopowicz, award for best actor for Andrzej Chyra, award for best supporting actress for Kinga Preis.
- 2006 - "Eagle" - Polish Film Award for: best film of 2005, best director, best screenplay, best production design, best actor, best actress, Audience Award; International Film Festival in Berlin: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury for Feliks Falk; "Prowincjonalia" Polish National Festival of Film Art in Września: "Jańcio Wodnik" main award for Feliks Falk, award for best actor for Andrzej Chyra; Golden Duck (award granted by "Film" magazine) for best Polish film of 2005; best Polish actor (Andrzej Chyra); "Golden Knight" International Film Festival in Moscow: award for best actor for Andrzej Chyra, award for best screenplay for Grzegorz Łoszewski; Zbyszek Cybulski Award (until 1986 granted by "Ekran" magazine) for Kinga Preis.
Author: Joanna Pawluśkiewicz, December 2006