Grzegorz Krolikiewicz returns with Neighbors
by Dorota Hartwich
- After almost 20 years of silence, the filmmaker is back with a movie that is released today in Polish theatres, courtesy of Kino Swiat
The singular style of Grzegorz Krolikiewicz, as showcased in Right Through (1972), The Case Of Bronek Pekosinski (winner of the Special Jury Prize at Karlovy Vary in 1994) and The Trees (1995), has certainly not been forgotten, despite his absence from screens over the last two decades or so, and this filmmaker thought of by many as a rebel never leaves audiences indifferent. The screening of his new feature, Neighbors [+see also:
film profile], at the most recent Gdynia Film Festival was a perfect illustration of this, as one half of the audience shunned the film and walked out of the theatre, while the other half graced the director with a standing ovation.
In Neighbors, Grzegorz Krolikiewicz comes back to his favourite heroes: people who, as he himself highlights, are most often ignored, people to whom we pay no attention on a daily basis, those who have no prospects and who live in modern ghettos, neglected by the authorities that should be taking care of them.
The movie is a collage of several micro-stories, with the action taking place in a block of flats, set against the landscape of a run-down post-industrial city. One scene in particular comes back time and again, featuring the image of a crack between two buildings – a metaphor for how difficult we find it to pass through, or perhaps a metaphor for a condition that boils down to always being squeezed into the space between. And yet there is a light visible through the crack…
The cast includes such names as Anna Mucha, Katarzyna Herman, Jacek Poniedzialek and Piotr Glowacki, while Krzysztof Ptak served as DoP. Produced by Kadr Film Studio, Neighbors benefited from backing from the Polish Film Institute and the Lodz Film Fund. Distribution in Polish theatres is handled by Kino Swiat.
(Translated from French)