Polish films shown at New York festival of innovative cinema

The 'First Look' international festival of new, innovative cinema begins on Friday in New York.

Viewers will be able to see, among other films, two that were nominated for awards - the Polish documentaries: "Communion" and "You Have No Idea How Much I Love You." They will be shown in New York for the first time.

During the event at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI), 25 films will be screened, representing a wide range of topics, styles, genres and forms.

On Saturday, the festival audience will have the opportunity to view Anna Zamecka's "Communion". Afterwards, the director will take part in a discussion with audience members.

According to the organizers of the Polish documentary's screening, “Anna Zamecka’s debut is a quiet marvel, gazing with both affection and sobriety at a family trying to keep it together, and offering one of the most complex cinematic portraits of young womanhood in recent memory.”

Zamecka told PAP that, first, she had an idea for a short feature film. At the script-writing stage, she learned by coincidence about the history of Ola, whose story was very similar to the one that was outlined in the script. That is why she finally decided to do the documentary.

"I told a universal story about the growing up of an 'adult child' because in Ola's family the roles have been reversed – it’s the child that looks after the parents and the disabled brother. Ola cleans, cooks, dresses fourteen-year-old Nikodem, but also lends psychological support to her parents and tries to solve their problems for them. Her own needs: those of a child, an adolescent girl, are relegated to the background. There are just so many ‘adult children’, and not only in Poland – that's why viewers understand Ola's emotions," said Zamecka.

"Viewers point out that, in the film, none of the characters are judged, despite their weaknesses. I am glad that it worked out," she emphasized.

On January 13, Pawel Lozinski, will present his documentary “You Have No Idea How Much I Love You.” MoMI characterises his film as an intimate work which documents a triangular psychotherapeutic encounter between a daughter, Hania, her mother, Ewa, and a therapist, Bogdan.

According to the organisers, “Focused on one face at a time, mining every utterance for revelation, and every expression for what lurks behind the words, Lozinski witnesses resistance and progress, trauma and enduring love.”

The festival, which concludes on January 15, is co-organised with the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, and will screen films from 17 countries. Among them are American, British, French, German, Canadian, Syrian and Thai films. Both Polish films are nominated for festival awards.