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FILMS Poland

Sala makes acclaimed debut with Mother Theresa of Cats

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Sala makes acclaimed debut with Mother Theresa of Cats

Well received by critics and audiences at the Polish Film Festival, which is currently underway in Gdynia, Paweł Sala’s debut narrative feature Mother Theresa of Cats [+see also:
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(Matka Teresa Od Kotów) has also won over selectors at the 45th Karlovy Vary Festival where the film will have its international premiere in official competition in July.

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The title of Sala’s film is a reference to a classic of Polish cinema: Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s Mother Joan of the Angels (1961). The comparison doesn’t end there but goes deeper, for both works attempt to explore the question of evil: its sources, the way it takes root in human beings and its mechanisms of destruction.

Sala has constructed a story that is as disturbing as it is moving. The disturbing side emerges from the plot, which is a variation on a news story reporting the murder of a mother by her two sons. The reverse chronology (the action unfolds from the end to the beginning) maintains the suspense, with viewers remaining neither emotionally inactive or intellectually indifferent.

The evocative power of Mother Theresa of Cats is reinforced by its cast, including Ewa Skibińska, Mariusz Bonaszewski, Mateusz Kościukiewicz and Filip Garbacz (Best Debut Actor at last year’s Gdynia festival for Piggies [+see also:
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, Special Mention at Karlovy Vary).

The film is produced by Zespół Filmowy Rozwój in co-production with De Lord and Syrena Films (who are managing distribution and international sales), with backing from the Polish Film Institute. It is scheduled for release in Polish theatres in autumn 2010.

Debut features make up a large proportion of the 20 or so titles in official competition at the Gdynia festival. They also include Anna Kazejak’s Flying Pigs, Ewa Stankiewicz’s If You Go Away, Marek Lechki’s Erratum and Sławomir Pstrong’s Silence.

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(Translated from French)

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