Michał Krzywicki • Director of The Day I Found a Girl in the Trash
“Once you decide to make a futuristic film, some familiar elements find their way in without you trying”
by Marta Bałaga
- We talked to the director of the rather ingeniously titled film originally pitched at Vilnius’ Meeting Point and freshly world-premiered at Warsaw
Pitched at Vilnius’ Meeting Point and now world-premieredat the Warsaw Film Festival, The Day I Found a Girl in the Trash [+see also:
interview: Michał Krzywicki
film profile] – co-created by Dagmara Brodziak and Michał Krzywicki, also playing the leads – shows Poland in 2028 as a totalitarian country depriving people deemed as “criminals” of their identity. But one girl starts to regain her senses. We talked to Krzywicki, who also directed the movie.
Cineuropa: How did you see this entire world? It seems rather precise, with the dates and the whole backstory of the so-called “automatons”.
Michał Krzywicki: The fact that it’s set just eight years into the future has to do with our desire to focus on the people, rather than some hi-tech science fiction. I would say that this world was created for this story, not the other way around. It was always supposed to be serving it. At first, we came up with this concept of someone who is regaining her senses again – or rather, Dagmara did, who is the co-creator of the film. While her character, Blue, is discovering the world once again and noticing its beauty, her companion, Szymon, isn’t able to do so.
As you said, it’s supposed to happen in the near future, which makes one wonder about the rise of nationalism. Just like in the scene when people have to sing the anthem on a bus.
We went to Bangkok once and noticed an interesting occurrence in our favourite park. Twice a day, they would play the national anthem. Everyone who was there, running or sitting on a bench, would stand up. It’s like time would stand still for a while, and later, they just went back to whatever it was they had been doing. As for the scenes of the protests shown in the film, we shot them during the Polish National Independence Day marches last year, for practical reasons: it would have taken time and money trying to recreate similar scenes, so why not just capture them in real life?
Blue, with her shaved head and marks on her neck, brings to mind The Matrix’s Neo. Were you thinking about the films you know here?
We are noticing these references now more than before. Many people mention Blade Runner, and when it comes to The Matrix, I noticed it when we were editing! Or even this character from Ghost in the Shell, who had the same marks. I’m starting to think that once you decide to make a futuristic film, some familiar elements find their way in even without you trying. With her shaved head, we would tend to think more about its historical context, about slaves or even the Holocaust – also because we are showing a procedure that takes away your humanity. Your individuality is being erased. You become a part of this anonymous mass, deprived of all rights.
The world has its phases, and it’s easy to feel that nothing makes sense any more and that there is this impending doom. It’s easy to get depressed and forget that apart from all this bad news we keep hearing, there are good things happening, too. We wanted to show them. We show someone who has lost all hope, who doesn’t have any strength any more. And then he meets this woman who, like a child, is naïve and notices everything around her – even the raindrops in this ugly city.
It’s a bit twisted – someone has taken away all your memories, but it helps you see the world once again.
Dagmara saw this video online, featuring a colour-blind man. He was given these special glasses that allowed him to see colours. He was in his sixties and just started to cry. It inspired her because how many things do we fail to notice? How many things do we take for granted, until we get sick, for example? We have made two films together, and we don’t think that realism and all of these clear rules, which are arguably much more common in Polish cinema, are something we would find interesting. We like these absurd elements. Operating within genre gives us more freedom.
The longer we talk, the more you start using a plural form. How did you collaborate, exactly?
Dagmara came up with the main idea, and for a while, she developed it on her own. Later, she gave me the treatment, and I started to write the screenplay with her. We talked about possibly directing this film together, but I don’t think I would have been capable of doing that – we tend to agree a lot, but we are also quite passionate. It works well when you are brainstorming ideas, but eventually, I decided to take on this responsibility, and she agreed. Because of that, she was also able to focus on Blue, who was a much more complicated character than mine. We don’t really know people like that, who have just regained their consciousness and have basically started from scratch. If we hadn’t had each other, making this film would have taken much longer, or it wouldn’t have happened at all, because we inspire each other. That’s why it’s ours, not mine.
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