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ROME FILM FESTIVAL Extra / Pologne

My Flesh, My Blood: Love and desperation between retired boxer and Vietnamese immigrant

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Flesh and blood. Followed by boxing, cocaine, strip joints and desperation, all of which have been Igor’s daily bread ever since he had to leave the ring – his only reason for living – as a result of the serious brain damage that will soon finish him off.

Irremediably alone with all his money, Igor (Eryk Lubos) longs to get a girl pregnant just to leave something of himself behind, and the occasion presents itself in the form of Yien Ha (Luu De Ly), a Vietnamese immigrant game to get married so she can get her papers. A sordid deal, perhaps, but not one immune to real feeling.

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The fairy tale is bleak and the bid is desperate in Moja Krew [+see also:
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(My Flesh, My Blood), the debut film by Polish filmmaker Marcin Wrona produced by Opus Film, Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej and Telewizja Polska, and screened out of competition at the Rome Film Festival in the Extra section.

Two broken lives intersect: a tale told with a poetic realism, but not a trace of smugness. The scenes of sex or violence, or the talented lead’s self-destruction, are never gratuitous. Stylistically, they are very rich, without coming off as mannered. The result is that Wrona even manages to draw out of this desperate story reflections on immigration and illness, and the quest for identity and the meeting of two cultures, which are surprisingly fresh.

And this extends to the theme of friendship, that between Igor and the man whose girlfriend, ex by now, he has stolen, and who is capable of making an extraordinary gesture of friendship for Igor nevertheless.

The director, who has directed several made-for-television movies – as well as Harold Pinter's television play The Collection – and won an award at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 for his graduation film Magnet Man, also presented his short film Telefono at the European Film Awards in 2004.

International sales for Wrona’s first feature are being handled by Insomnia World Sales.

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