In the new film by Dorota Kędzierzawska almost all the characteristics of the auteur which we are familiar with from her earlier films are present – devotion to the fates and psychology of the socially marginalized, the depiction and analysis of the details of everyday lives, in which these characters find themselves, and the special attention to the visual components of the film such as framing and camera angles.
Tomorrow Will Be Better is a kind of a road movie in the center of which we find three boys, the protagonists of the film. The story itself, the story of homeless boys who illegally migrate from Russia to Poland, dreaming of a better and happier life, is actually quite a simple one, and serves only as a framework for Dorota’s utmost interest – to suggest, show and depict the need for love and tenderness, ergo the need for values which are non-existent in the world of poverty and lack of family.
This type of thematic framework, filled with emotionally sensitive aspects of human nature, in its own nature entails the building of an emotional map. And for those emotions to be authentic, persuasive and credible, it is essential that they are presented in a very discreet and subtle manner. Dorota is quite familiar with this. She also knows that, if such an emotional dimension of the film, which the characters of these three boys carry within themselves, is not built in the proper way, a film of this kind becomes banal and fake.
So how does Kędzierzawska solve the problem in this case? First of all, with good guidance of the boy actors, and by insisting on visual solutions for specific scenes and sequences, with little dialogue. Further on, the simplicity of the expression is truly part of Kędzierzawska’s directing process, a process that is, in fact, a logical result of the scenes being dealt with primarily through visual aids.
Of course, in defining film expression chosen in such a manner, as well as in developing the visual dimension of the film, the director of photography, Arthur Reinhart, contributes a considerable amount.
Tomorrow Will Be Better is a small, unpretentious, but poetic and cinematically rich film, a film about small people and their great, universal problems. It is films like this that have the function not so much of providing an insight into the world of the wretched and humiliated (as this is a general issue), but, in my own opinion, in urging us take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves whether we possess enough of that true, authentic empathy, the kind that makes one think and adopt an active attitude to problems.