IMDb > I Am Josh Polonski's Brother (2001)

I Am Josh Polonski's Brother (2001) More at IMDbPro »

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Release Date:
6 June 2001 (France) See more »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Like staring at a beautiful painting for longer than is natural See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order)

Richard Edson ... Abe Polonski
Jeff Ware ... Ben Polonski
Meg Hartig ... Jill
Arnold Barkus ... Josh Polonski

Ivan Martin ... Igor (as Yvan Martin)
Etta Barkus ... Mother
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Atticus Amodeo ... Alan
Rachel Amodeo ... Sarah
Elizabeth Anne ... Igor's Girlfriend

Thomas Bidegain ... Client
Vladimir Bilik ... Thug
Higinio Casado ... Employee

Herman Chavez ... Mike (as Herman Chaves)
John Colatrella ... Other Customer
Simon Cundiff ... Client
Michael Delcel ... Customer

David R. Fisher ... Taxi Dispatcher
Jacina Fletcher ... Baby Doll's Dancer
Kimberly Garett ... Baby Doll's Dancer
Madonna Guzzardo ... Bartender
Noah Harlan ... Other Customer
Aza Haze ... Anna (as Victoria Raven Yaloz)
Tim House ... Customer
Julien Laffon ... Client

Fenton Lawless ... The Lieutenant
D. Lombardo ... Simon
Inge L. Mader ... Topless Bar Bartender

Robert Nicotra ... Thug
Carlos Nieves ... Barber
Noralee Notzon ... Girl at Gym
Glenn Racey ... Other Customer
Gary Gerard Robinson ... Manager
Etta Robnak ... Rachel
Tony Ray Rossi ... The Boss
Charles Schwartz ... The Neighbor
Ginetta Silvi ... Dancer
Jocelyn Soubiran ... Client
Nasseer Ul-Hao ... Deli Clerk

Directed by
Raphaël Nadjari 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Raphaël Nadjari 

Produced by
Caroline Bonmarchand .... producer
Francesca Feder .... producer
Anne Feinsilber .... line producer
Geoffroy Grison .... producer
Alexandre Moha .... associate producer
Julie Paratian .... associate producer
Thomas Randon .... associate producer
Jocelyn Soubiran .... associate producer
Laurent Thibierge .... associate producer
Original Music by
Vincent Segal 
Jean-Pierre Sluys 
Cinematography by
Laurent Brunet 
Film Editing by
Tom Donahue 
Casting by
Denise Fitzgerald 
Production Design by
Sean Foley 
Costume Design by
Sandy Asmani 
Production Management
April Blair .... unit production manager
Sean Foley .... post-production supervisor
Manu Gargi .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frédéric Bellaïche .... first assistant director
Julie DuBois .... second assistant director
Julie Duhayot .... second assistant director
Gwenaelle Larpent .... second assistant director
Art Department
Julia Bidermann .... artistic advisor
Sound Department
Jean-Michel Dissard .... additional sound mixer
Adam M. Goldstein .... sound editor
Karl Greenburg .... sound consultant: DTS
Chen Harpaz .... sound mixer
Nicolas Mazet .... sound (as Nico Mazet)
John McNulty .... sound
Don Peebles .... sound editor
Visual Effects by
Thomas Edmon .... digital transfer supervisor
Robert Luttrell .... digital transfer supervisor
Camera and Electrical Department
Julia Bidermann .... assistant camera
Pierrot Colonna .... assistant camera
Ben Fraker .... still photographer
Olivia Froudkine .... still photographer (as Olivia Froudkine Moors)
Isabelle Kolegnako .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Spencer Hill .... on-line editor
Josh Robbins .... assistant editor
Kris Schumacher .... digital color timer
Location Management
Vladimir Bilik .... location manager
Other crew
Claire Colder .... assistant to producer
Simon Cundiff .... production assistant
Justin Girard .... title designer
Nicole Kassell .... script supervisor
Aaron Panther .... production assistant
Josh Robbins .... script supervisor
Fred Siegel .... accountant
Noah Harlan .... thanks
Stéphane Lévy .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
87 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Like staring at a beautiful painting for longer than is natural, 20 March 2006
Author: fateslieutenant from New York

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


A lot of indie films are just low-budget nods to Hollywood: they say, "I want in, here are my bona fides. Imagine this movie with two more zeros on the price tag and you'll know what I'm really about." Filmed in two weeks for hardly more than it costs to eat lunch, largely improvised, completely unmanipulative, I Am Josh Polonski's Brother doesn't stoop to knock at Hollywood's door. With a couple of exceptions, the acting is good, and the movie (which was filmed on Super8 and with a very different, almost old-fashioned eye for composition) looks incredible.

Richard Edson plays Abe, one of three brothers who own and manage the family wholesale cloth business on Orchard Street. Before the opening titles, Abe's brother Josh is killed in a drive-by shooting. Abe starts to run after the car - or is he just running away from Josh's bloody body? - and for a moment it seems the action has already begun. It hasn't, though, and in a sense, it never does. Perhaps when Abe ventures into Josh's seedy world in search of his friend Igor? How about when he flaunts his lack of faith during shiva? Maybe now, when Abe visits and then sleeps with Josh's girlfriend, Jill, a $600-a-fling prostitute? Now, as his relationship with surviving older brother Ben becomes strained? No, in fact: at none of these points does Abe cross a threshold over which he cannot return. Each of these things occurs, but seemingly independently of the others, and without a web of interlinking causes and effects, they remain vignettes.

The film is perhaps most hampered by its lack of script. Improvised dialogue often sounds less natural than the "unnatural" act of recitation.The cast mostly overcome that, albeit at the expense of the story: they can't overcome how little their exchanges advance the plot, especially at important moments.

Within the expectations of the film, for example, the confession Abe makes to his dead brother's prostitute ex-girlfriend ("I'm Josh Polonski's brother") couldn't be more important, but the words have no impact whatsoever. When Abe goes on in later scenes to act as if they did, you can't help but feel that the improv and the storyboard are gravely at odds - or are we meant to think Abe's insane? And because the dialogue doesn't give a sense of building causality, the action seems random. In a random narrative universe the viewer can't experience anticipation, and the capacity for tension is lost. At no time until the very last scenes, for example, does Abe do something which he can't undo. Now, trapped by the consequences of his actions, it seems, he will have to struggle until the situation is righted. It took us a long time to get there, but we have at last achieved an irreversible moment in the plot: now something will happen. Instead, the film ends.

I liked I Am Josh Polonski's Brother. There are lots of sympathetic characters, and plenty of good acting. Richard Edson, Meg Hartig, and Etta Barkus are all terrific. The camera work is unusual and appealing, and some of the "slice of life" moments are undeniably engaging: shabbas dinner at the Polonski family apartment, or the eating of the egg after Josh's funeral. Sadly, though, there is little or no tension, and watching it becomes a bit of an effort, like staring at a beautiful painting for longer than is natural.

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