Jury judgment at the 46th Gdynia Polish Film Festival. The good thing won, but there were better films in competition


“The good thing won, but not the best competitive film” – this is the opinion I heard behind the scenes of the Gdynia event from many people, right after the verdict was announced. of the jury. The Golden Lions honored Łukasz Ronduda and Łukasz Gutt for “All our fears”. An important and necessary film. However, I signed with both hands that the products were more successful than the competition. Justina Cobos comments on the jury of the 46th session of the 2021 Gdynia Feature Film Festival.

During the ceremony at the Musical Theater in Gdynia, no one claimed that the verdict of the jury led by director Andrei Parasky was not a surprise. It was huge. This year’s Polish Oscar nominee – “Leave No Traces” – or Domalowski’s great “Whistling” were favorites not only of the Oscar selection committee, but also of a significant portion of the festival audience. “Hyacynt” was the longest rented film at this year’s festival, although it wasn’t a “light and fun” film, like the hit “Nemro” which he defeated in the reins of government.

The work of the two artists, who meticulously recreate the “represented world”, is equally impressive – in both cases they speak of the 80s. Certainly, it is not the momentum of production that determines its artistic merit. However, both titles are films in their own right, the kind that can emotionally “crawl” the viewer.

So what influenced the jury’s decision? It is true that All Our Fears is a sensitively produced hit film. However, it does not have the exact weight of “hiss” and “no trace”. The question is: didn’t the jury with this decision hurt the creators of the aforementioned products?

Our Oscar nominee had to win the second most important figure – the Silver Lions and the stage award. The prize in the “scenario” category went to Marcin Ciastoń for “Hyacynta”. He was also honored for his makeup.

Golden Lions for “All our fears”PAP / Adam Warsaw

for a good reason

All Our Fears is an important and poignant film – there’s no denying it. However, even the “body of God” has no effect, it also touches the theme of faith and spirituality. Moreover, Jan Komasa’s film – according to the Gdynia jury – did not deserve the grand prize either. In 2019, he won the “Citizen Jones” Agnieszka Holland statuette.

But back to the Ronduda movie.

The plot is inspired by the true story of Daniel Rykarski, an artist who has long tried to bridge the gap between the Polish Church and the LGBT community. The protagonist played by Dawid Ogrodnik in the film grew up in the countryside and has always been involved in church life, despite the fact that as a heterosexual he faces homophobia. He desperately wants to reconcile his homosexuality (which is open and manifested through his own art) with Catholicism.

The verdict of the Gdynia jury on the situation of the ongoing campaign against homosexuals in our country has of course a special significance. No one probably doubts he voted for a good reason.

Justifying the decision, Parasky explained that given the high and equal level of the films in competition, the members of the jury decided to choose the film that would be “beautiful and current”. It’s just an unconvincing argument. The same can be said of the paintings of Matuszyński and Domalewski, although their work takes place in the past. The film on the Grzegorz Przemyk affair is all the more terrifying when we remember Igor Stachowiak, who was tortured in a Wroclaw police station in 2016, or the recent death of a young Ukrainian in a medical center. local awakening. Domalewski’s gay love story, which centers on the act of “Jacinta”, that is, the persecution of homosexuals in the Polish People’s Republic, can also be played out today.

It is therefore difficult to get rid of the impression that it is the importance of the subject that may have influenced the jury’s decision. But are noble motives enough? Shouldn’t it be just the artistic values ​​of the films in competition?

“All Our Fears” is without a doubt a film worth mentioning (the script itself seems to be the highlight of the film), but is it really a Golden Lions film? In my opinion, perfect for the Special Jury Prize (it has never been awarded this year).

The film also won a major award for Best Cinematography, as it was separated from the stunning night / winter visuals of Piotr Sobociński in “Hyacinth”. It’s hard to believe that the excellent director of photography, juror Bogdan Dziursky, did not appreciate their talent. From the screening of “Hiacynt”, Sobociński was unanimously selected for the award.

Extract from “All our fears”Photo credit: Jarosław Sosiński / FPFF

Best Actor Without Prize Festival

However, this is not the end of the odd decisions of the jury. They were amazed that there was no award for the Acting King at this festival – Tomasz Zeitek. This year I haven’t met anyone in Gdynia who, when asked about Best Actor in the Leading Male Role, didn’t mention it. This reward therefore seemed obvious.

The actor created two wonderful and completely different roles. In “Let There Be Traces” he plays Przymek’s friend and witness to the crime, showing the enormity of the pain of a man fighting for justice, aware of his own helplessness. In “Hyacinth”, the protagonist – silent and rough – is in turn a classic character straight out of black cinema. Until he fell in love with his mentor.

“A miracle should have happened if Ziętek had not received the award this year”, one writes in the festival report. and became. The award went to Jacek Beler for his beautiful role in Alexandra Terbiska’s feature debut Other People. Despite everything, Ziętek is sorry. The film itself was also awarded as the best first director. with accuracy.

Maria Dubska with the prize for the role of Kalina Gudrocic in the film “Because there is sex in me”Adam Warawa / PAP

Juries and viewers were exceptionally unanimous for the award for the leading female role. She was received by the beautiful and excellent Kalina Jędrusik Maria Dębska for her role in the production of “Because there is sex in me”. The film itself, unfortunately, was not very successful.

If anyone doubted that Polish cinema is ruled by young people, and every year more and more young filmmakers, the 46th edition of the Gdynia Polish Film Festival dispels these illusions forever.

Main image source: FPFF / Jaroslaw Sosinski

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