Poland’s most bankable film director turns camera on himself for powerful ‘warts-’n’-all’ biopic
Patryk Vega has been Poland's most bankable film director for many years with hits including Pitbull, Women of Mafia and Secret Wars.
Now, the controversial filmmaker has turned the camera on his own turbulent life with the film Niewidzialna Wojna (Invisible War) to hit cinema screens at the end of September.
A trailer for the biopic, directed by Vega himself and featuring Quentin Tarantino actor Rafał Zawierucha (Once Upon A Time In Hollywood) in the lead role as well as Anna Mucha, has just been released on YouTube.
The controversial director is promising a warts-and-all look at his life's highs and lows.
“This is a film about the struggle between darkness and light in my life. It shows the mechanism of man's struggle with darkness. It is a story about standing up after falls,” the director said.
The trailer already hints at what viewers can expect: sex, cocaine, expensive cars, explosions and soul-searching dilemmas.
The title of the film hints at the struggle between good and evil that Vega claims has haunted his life.
Vega says that he wants to show how this fame, glitz and big money came at a huge price, awakened dormant demons and exposed him to the temptations and pitfalls of show business.
"Life writes the most gripping scripts," he said.
The trailer alludes to these themes. We see a young boy watching a film in the cinema, praying in a church and attending a school ceremony. Later, Vega consults a priest, who asks him if he is ready to make a film.
We then see Vega wallowing in luxury, snorting drugs and living a celebrity lifestyle.
Press materials for the film ask: “Who was he before he picked up a camera and became well known to audiences? What shaped him as a man and a filmmaker?” suggesting that the film will provide answers.
Vega knew from an early age that he wanted a flashy career. As soon as he got his first ID card as an adult he changed his name from Krzemieniecki to Vega.
In his youth, he tried many ways to earn a living, some more dubious than others. When he was just fourteen, he sold illegal software at a street market in Warsaw.
As a teenager, he was entered into the Polish Guinness Book of Records as the youngest creator of computer graphics. Later, he was a gang member and even a drug dealer.
All along, however, he knew that his true calling was cinema, a passion instilled in him as a child by his grandfather.
Vega's beginnings as a director of thrillers and crime films were promising. He made his debut in 2005 with PitBull about murder squad police officers trying to arrest a dangerous Armenian criminal.
After a brace of weak comedies, Vega returned to the action thriller genre with the well-received Secret Wars about the murky world of Poland’s security services.
He then made a series of films in which he took a behind-the-scenes look at various social ills.
In Botox, he showed the absurdities of the health service, in Politics he shined a light on the political hypocrisy, in Bad Boy the scams of the football mafia, and in Small World the dark world of human trafficking.
Over time the uncompromising director achieved stunning success, with his films and series becoming record-breaking hits and a ticket to the world he always desired.
After this latest film, Vega plans will move into international waters and try to conquer the world with an English-language gangster-genre pic about Vladimir Putin.