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I came across this under-the-radar film today, read the only review already on IMDb, heard from a Polish friend that it was quite good and couldn't really find anything else on it before going to see it.
I was expecting it to be good, but it turned out to be possibly the most enjoyable film I've seen all year (I see at least 30-40 new releases each year, and with a reasonable degree of research before watching, almost never see a terrible film - the only awful film I've seen in a theatre in the last two years is The Counselor where I didn't research the film and went in because of the cast - never again!).
A biopic made in a typical European style - understated drama, lots of subtle as well as some black humour and emotional depth. Riveting from start to finish, it is the story of the man who pioneered the first heart transplant in Poland after wading through the obstacles thrown at him by a sceptical medical fraternity and lumbering bureaucracy (he later went on to become a prominent politician though the film focuses purely on the events leading up to the event that made him famous in Poland).
Tomasz Kot is brilliant playing Religa, and the entire supporting cast are very good. There is a reasonable amount of medical jargon used (I was following English subtitles) which worked for me as a fan of medical dramas.
The depiction of Poland and life there in the 80s is very well done - there are subtle homages to the period setting (through the soundtrack for example) but you never get the feeling the director is getting carried away with the setting and the events of the story remain the main focus.
Technically the film is very well shot and edited (some of the surgery scenes are fascinating in their detail) and the script is excellent. Highly recommended!
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