The Art of Loving takes Polish cinemas by storm
by Dorota Hartwich
- Maria Sadowska’s film, which tells the story of the first female sexologist in Poland, has got off to a flying start in national theatres
A total of 267,922 viewers over its first weekend on the cinema listings, showing on 312 screens (the best opening this year), and 863,944 admissions at the end of its first week on release: The Art of Loving [+see also:
film profile] by Maria Sadowska has set the Polish box office alight ever since it was launched on 27 January, distributed by Next Film. Its dazzling opening has already been compared to the 2014 success of a feature staged by the same production outfit (Watchout Productions) and penned by the same screenwriter (Krzysztof Rak): Gods [+see also:
film profile] by Lukasz Palkowski, which ended its impressive run with 2.2 million admissions.
The Art of Loving paints a portrait of Halina Wislocka, the first female sexologist in Poland (in contrast, Gods portrayed a pioneer in the field of heart transplants). The film looks back at her private life (her failed marriage, the love triangle she was involved in, and her complicated relationship with her lover, a married man), but mainly focuses on her struggle to publish her book, a guide to a better sex life (published in 1976 with the title Sztuka kochania - The Art of Loving), which began a lifestyle revolution in Polish society and was condemned by the communist party, the Catholic Church and the censors. Nevertheless, Sadowska does not attempt to make her main character an unreserved heroine, instead opting to portray her in realistic fashion, laying bare the bitter side of her life: her weaknesses, her failures and, above all, her solitude.
The film’s success lies not only in its superb screenplay, but also in its fine actors: Magdalena Boczarska plays the lead role, flanked by Justyna Wasilewska, Eryk Lubos, Piotr Adamczyk, Borys Szyc, Arkadiusz Jakubik and Wojciech Mecwaldowski.
(Translated from French)