Poland, 1990. The first euphoric year of freedom, but also of uncertainty for the future. Four apparently happy women of different ages decide it's time to change their lives, and fulfill their desires.
Poland, 1990. The winds of change are blowing in Poland. The first euphoric year of freedom, but also of uncertainty for the future. Four apparently happy women of different ages decide it's time to change their lives, fight for their happiness and fulfill their desires. Agata is a young mother, trapped in an unhappy marriage, who seeks refuge in another, impossible relationship. Renata is an older teacher fascinated with her neighbor Marzena - a lonely former local beauty queen, whose husband works in Germany. Marzena's sister Iza is a headmistress in love with the father of one of her students.
Given the distinctive quality of Polish cinema, we don't see enough Polish movies in Australia, and I was happy to catch a one-night stand, as it were, from this one.
Intelligent, well cast, beautifully shot, church-ridden, grey, and typically unsettling. As Polish as anything, this is definitely not a date and popcorn movie. Even the first and 'happiest' dinner party scene is shot in washed out blues and greens. From there on, all four female protagonists are bound for sexual grief, although the lesbian character does win a weird kind of satisfaction at the end.
I'd go see this director's next outing, and I wouldn't mind seeing his previous. For me, his observations are vigorous, expanding to give comment on life as we live it, and not just dispensing gloom for the sake of gloom. The gratuitous moments - like Madame Principal's rough-trade encounter with a former student - can be overlooked.
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