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BERLINALE 2009 Competition / Poland

Wajda pays homage to women again in Sweet Rush

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Wajda pays homage to women again in Sweet Rush

Andrzej Wajda’s new film Sweet Rush [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
was presented in official competition today at the Berlinale. After Katyn [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrzej Wajda
interview: Michal Kwiecinski
film profile
]
– a political work that paid tribute to the women (wives, mothers, sisters…) of countless murdered Polish officers – the Polish director once again paints the portrait of a woman in his new production.

Sweet Rush is based on a short story by Polish author Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, whose prose Wajda has previously adapted for the big screen (The Birch Wood and The Maids of Wilko of the 1970s). The film centres on the character of Marta, an older woman who lives a lonely life beside an absent, workaholic husband, until she meets a young man and rediscovers her vital strength and youth.

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When asked at a press conference in Poland why he chose to return to the work of Iwaszkiewicz, Wajda explained: "This is my fourth attempt at getting to grips with Iwaszkiewicz’s prose. (…) You may wonder what I’m looking for in this writer’s work. Well, I’m looking for what I can’t find anywhere else in Polish literature: strong female characters".

Among the other main reasons that led him to make Sweet Rush, Wajda also cited his desire to make another film with one of Poland’s greatest actresses: Krystyna Janda, who plays Marta. The director said: "I bumped into her one day and, to my great surprise, she reminded me that we’d met each other for the first time 34 years ago. So I thought it was the right time to work together again". He continued: "I looked for a good project. Iwaszkiewicz ‘s short story was the best and most fruitful material to help us achieve our idea."

The film was penned by renowned Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk and lensed by DoP Pawel Edelman. The cast also includes Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieslak, Jan Englert, Paweł Szajda, Julia Pietrucha and Roma Gasiorowska.

Produced by Michal Kwiecinski and Akson Studio, Sweet Rush does not yet have a domestic release date. Les Films du Losange are handling international sales and will launch the title in French theatres.

(Translated from French)

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