New socio-culinary documentary explores the hidden world of pierogi
A new documentary looking at how people from different backgrounds make pierogi has hit the big screen.
Entitled ‘Pierogi: Stories with Stuffing’ (Pierogi – historie z farszem), the socio-culinary documentary by director Marcin Wokan and cinematographer Piotr Golemo travels across Poland and beyond taking a peek into the kitchens of four groups of very different people.
“Each of the characters will let you into their lives for a moment, but no one promises that you will find out how their stories will end.
“Stories with Stuffing is a search for the unusual in the ordinary. It is worth absorbing this uniqueness.
“Remember, the door will only be ajar for a moment.”
The first story ‘There were Women’ follows a group of women who live and work together in a village in Podlasie.
Described by the filmmakers as a “a trip to the land of blueberries, to a world somewhere on the outskirts of magical realism”, the story looks at the individual lives of the wives, mothers and grandmothers who, despite working all day, find time to come together to create blueberry pierogi.
The second story entitled ‘Loveland’ follows the travels of Lena and Tomek in their motorhome as they traverse the harsh terrain of Iceland.
The filmmakers said: “This Stuffed Story is an admiration for the closeness of two people who have learned to enjoy being together.
“The story of Elena and Tomek is a road movie set against the backdrop of harsh Iceland.
“She talked, he was a silent — they travel for kilometres of their life in the caravan, enjoying its intimate microcosm.”
And along the way they make pierogi.
In Wrocław, the filmmaker’s follow two friends who cook hundreds of pierogi to feed the hungry homeless at a night shelter.
The film’s website describes the instalment’s stars, Michał and Tomek, as “the only characters in the film not surprised that the camera wants to follow them.
“On the contrary, it can be said that they are thirsty for its presence.
“If anyone is counting on classic social cinema, let them quickly get it out of their head because the story of these two chefs is, above all, a story of friendship.”
The final chapter of the film is dedicated to a father of two who seeks out plants in his hometown of Słupsk that others may ignore.
He is searching for things with nutritional value and taste that goes beyond the typical ingredients.
Entitled ‘Happy Ending’, the filmmakers describe the story as being about “a fascinating man hidden in a fairly average body, with a murmuring climate catastrophe in the background.”
The anthology is a curious peek behind the curtain, not only at how a food staple unites a country but also at the lives of those who create and eat it.
Those in a village who take time to pray to a roadside cross, a couple surviving in a foreign land, two young men searching for adventure and their place in the world and a father worried for his children’s future are all united by their love of pierogi.