The last film in series about Adam Miauczyński, the angry, depressed and neurotic literature teacher with obsessive-compulsive behaviour from The Day of the Wacko. Now a 55 year old alcoholic, Adam takes a look back at his life
Through the prism of a heart to heart between Adam Miauczyński (Marek Kondrat) and his now grownup son Sylwek (Michał Koterski), the 55 year old recalls the pain he caused him, his mother and himself. With a main character subjected to his addiction to alcoholism, Marek Koterski chose to illustrate his life by means of a Way of the Cross metaphore. The story makes use of well thought-out images and symbols - fallen angels, an archetypal Polish Mother devoted to her alcoholic husband, the Polish Pope, plans for a pilgrimage to Rome, Christmas Eve, Romantic and Polish. Time Out London’s Wally Hammond comments,
Koterski’s employment, and melding, of different actors to play the principals at various ages and his dependence on Polish Catholic religious iconography can be confusing, his use of talking Christmas tree fairies, guardian angels and the like can be a little heavy-handed. But his sincerity and evangelical tenacity is as clear as an empty glass.
While Adam recalls the good moments – the ones where he was sober, his son only remembers the bad moments, and fear. "The first reason for this film being made, and its main, pivotal motif, are the painful memories of Sylwek, the son about the drinking of his father - Adam. (...) Adam's father drank too, and Adam also feared him and was ashamed of him and - as a little boy - vowed he would never cause his own son such fear and such shame", Koterski says. While Adam failed to escape from his father’s curse, his son also followed in his footsteps and became a drug addict.
"An unflinching look at the pathological effects of severe alcoholism on familial relationships in the no-holds-barred drama", a film about alcoholism in Eastern Europe where drinking often seems to be a widely accepted human condition. Its importance is also marked by the director’s own problems with alcoholism with his son – Michał playing the role of Miauczyński’s son in the movie. The filmmaker adds, "Despite the immeasurable pain and loss brought on by this addiction, with which I want - quite intentionally - to shock the film's audience, I end it like never before - very optimistically - with faith in the power of love and hope for a real life".
Scott M Patterson comments that "although Koterski clearly has a humourous sensibility [with] some genuinely hilarious scenes and wonderfully witty dialogue exchanges […] (highlights include Adam's botched suicide attempt and his experience of a gypsy rabbit dinner), there's clearly a very serious subject being broached here and it's handled superbly, that being the destructive nature of alcohol on the family, and it's long lasting effects. Rather than going for a cringingly familiar gritty route, Koterski's off-beat and surreal approach means the message is warm but also cutting, amiable but effective".
• Wszyscy jesteśmy Chrystusami / We're All Christs, Poland, 2006. Directed by Marek Koterski, screenplay by Marek Koterski, director of photography: Edward Kłosiński, production design by Przemysław Kowalski, costume design by Magdalena Biedrzycka, Justyna Stolarz, music by Jerzy Satanowski, film editor: Ewa Smal, producer: Włodzimierz Otulak. Featuring: Marek Kondrat (Adaś Miauczyński at 55), Michał Koterski (Sylwuś Miauczyński, Adaś' son), Andrzej Chyra (Adaś Miauczyński at 33), Janina Traczykówna (Adaś' Mother), Małgorzata Bogdańska (Beata Chałkowska-Miauczyńska, Adaś' Wife), Tomasz Sapryk (Guard Angel), Marcin Dorociński (Evil Angel), Bożena Adamek (Adaś' Mother in Her 40s), Jerzy Bończak (Homeless Man at the Landfill), Marta Chodorowska (Beata Chałkowska-Miauczyńska, Young Adaś' Wife), Marian Dziędziel (Adaś' Drinking Friend), Jan Frycz (Adaś' Drinking Friend), Andrzej Grabowski (Adaś' Drinking Friend), Agnieszka Grochowska (Young Adaś' Mother), Paweł Królikowski (Adaś' Drinking Friend). Produced by Vision Film Production. Cinema premiere: April 21, 2006. Time: 105 min.
• 2006 - Main Award - Leliwita Bronze Statuette and the award of the youth jury for Marek Koterski at the Tarnów Film Awards, Tarnów; a Gold Fish Award for Marek Koterski at the Ińsko Film Summer, Ińsko; Best Director Award and the Award of the Association of Polish Filmmakers for Marek Koterski at the Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia.
Sources: culture.pl, Time Out London, All Movie, Rants & Misc
Author: Marta Jazowska