Review

  • Astonishingly mature work written and directed by the young Polish director Tomasz Wasilewski. It's stuffed full of amazing images and superb performances.

    The individual, overlapping stories of four women in a quiet town are presented in compelling scenes in which it's impossible to anticipate what will happen next. Meanwhile, in the wider world, discussions are taking place about the unification of Germany, the nail in the coffin of Eastern European Communism, which had effectively collapsed the year before, liberating Poland from what had been the Soviet Union. The counterpointing of these private and public themes is brilliantly accomplished by Wasilewski, who has blossomed as an artist with this film.

    The quartet of actresses are Julia Kijowska,Magdalena Cielecka, Dorota Kolak and Marta Nieradkiewicz, with Ms Kolak particularly moving as a bewildered teacher thrown on the scrapheap. There is strong support by an equally accomplished quartet of men: Tomasz Tyndyk, Andrzej Chyra, Marcin Czarnik and Lukasz Simlat.