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A Man Thing More at IMDbPro »Meska sprawa (original title)

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Downbeat but impacting

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
6 September 2002

A young boy lives near a dog shelter and plays football for a school team. He also suffers from extreme cruelty from his aggressive father. When his team coach buys new kit it means Bartek will have to get changed in front of everyone else, exposing the marks on his body. His refusal to play leads to a confrontation between him, his coach and his father.

As a short film lover I try to get them from all over – but I'm a fool, so I assume that foreign films won't be as good as UK or US shorts. However this is a very good look at a child abuse situation. The setting is rough and real and the attention to detail is good. I got into the boy's situation easily – all the adults in his life are pretty aggressive and he has grown quiet when around them. It's not sensationalising anything and many may be let down by how down beat the drama is.

I admit that it did have an unsatisfying edge to it as I naturally expect this sort of thing to have a semi-happy or emotional ending, whereas this is more downbeat. I still felt impacted by the reality though. The cast are excellent and you never for a second think `these actors are good' because I never saw them as pretending or giving a performance. Bartosz Idczak was great and really brought Bartek into life.

Overall it may be a little bleak and ordinary for some viewers but the characters are great and the direction is excellent. It may be downbeat but this is well worth a look.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Is so true!

10/10
Author: simplired (simpliRed@hoga.pl) from Poland
21 March 2002

Yes, so engaging, one can not see it without a struggle of heart. But there's something more, this short breaks one of happy end scenary schema. It's so true. Brings you pictures from real world,our world. Encourages you to look around. Can make you begin see more, understand more. Forces you to think some things over one more time.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the best short movies

Author: petronius79 from Salonica, Greece
24 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this title in one limited screening in the Polish Institute in London. Despite the short length it was very emotional and raised up a serious issue about child abuse, particularly in post-communist Poland, though it could be applied to any country. The actors, especially the main lead but also his gyms teacher were excellent and despite the pessimistic ending it left a glimmer of hope of how an abused child can find comfort even in something all the others discard as insignificant.

I felt the same impact as with the film Lilja-4ever and also the short animated film "Dog", by Suzie Templeton.

A gem and shouldn't be missed.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Powerful statement against child abuse

10/10
Author: Bartek Weglarczyk from Washington, DC
22 February 2002

The most engaging short movie I have ever seen. Meska Sprawa proves that one can deal with very serious issues in 26 minutes. If you haven't seen it, do it right now. No wonder Slawomir Fabicki's first (!) movie gets awards at any short movie festival.

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"A Man Thing" a good watch for both genders

6/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
28 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Meska sprawa" or "A Man Thing" is a Polish 25-minute short film from 2001, so it has its 15th anniversary this year. The writer and director is Slawomir Fabicki and as this one managed to score an Academy Award nomination, it is probably Fabicki's biggest success so far. This is a fairly good achievement, so it's a bit sad that he did not manage a big career afterward, not even in Poland really. This is the story of a teenage boy who gets humiliated by pretty much everybody in his life, especially bad by his father who keeps beating him violently. He does not find any solace in friends or the coach of his football team, but just in a little stray dog from the local animal shelter. I remember really loving this one the first time I watched, but this time today I "only" ended up liking it. The way the coach fights violence with violence towards the end is very telling and the final shot with the boy near the dog, locked away from the outside world is pretty perfect. it shows that the boy does not fit in the ruthless world outside and you can guess easily that it's probably a lie that the dog won't get killed by the man in charge at the shelter. Neither he nor the dog should leave this cage because they will be in for something bad if they do. Sadly, the 20 minutes before this ending are not as good, which is why I cannot euphorically recommend this one. But I can still recommend it without enthusiasm. Worth checking out and better and more touching than "The Accountant" for sure.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"A short film about child abuse"

8/10
Author: miszel
9 August 2005

This is a short film about child abuse. The child actor is very engaging, extremely natural, very well led by the director. The cinematography gives everything a grimy, realistic, post-communist bleakness. Kudos to the director for keeping everything tight and lean. Whether the film could be more uplifting is a question of taste. Polish cinema isn't exactly known for it's light touch so don't expect a happy ending.

The only real problem with the story is that it's not very original. In fact, it looks like a compressed version of "Kes" with dogs subsituted for birds. I guess if you haven't seen that Ken Loach film it won't matter but this fact stuck out for me.

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