Marked by God

  • When I think of outstanding Polish filmmaker Dorota Kędzierzawska, the first thing I remember is the year 1981. We were graduate students of the Moscow Film Institute and I asked her about the developments in Poland under Solidarnost, and then – under martial law. She gave me an explanation I could not find in Soviet newspapers.

    Then I saw a picture of us in Cannes in 1994, when her Crows was screened in the official program… When I then met her briefly in Pusan, Thessaloniki and Berlin, when I was given the possibility of watching all her movies, I felt very proud. My friend from VGIK had become a truly great film director.

    Dorota makes films that bring us back to the classic Polish film school. We thought this school was just a nice memory. Dorota has convinced us that the magnificent Polish film is not dead. It lives in the frames of her films.

    In her films simple people live simple lives and one may think that the camera just catches this – nothing else. But it is an artistic game. In this simple life Dorota and her cameraman, editor, producer and husband Arthur Reinhart show us traces of a Miracle. We are watching a very simple man and Dorota and Arthur tell us how unusual he actually is, how frightened, how fragile!

    That is why Dorota’s heroes are children (Crows, Nothing, I am), or elderly people (The End of the World, Time to Die). Children, who are just entering this world, who believe in kindness. Who do not wish to see the evil… Who expect love. Elderly people who are ready to live. They understand everything. They expect nothing. They got to know love a very long time ago. Or perhaps it was not love. Perhaps life itself is love…

    Arthur Reinhart is, undoubtedly, the best Polish cameraman today. Arthur shoots Dorota’s films as brilliantly as great Polish cameramen did in the early films of Wajda, Kawalerovich and Munk. He speaks the film language. He does not need words. And that is why it is absolutely impossible to verbalize his and Dorota’s films. It is just as impossible to watch them on DVD, computers or mobile phones.

    We understand what he wants to tell us with the contrast between the Gothic charm of a small town and the loneliness of a poor girl (Crows). He brings back to us the beauty of black and white images (Time to Die)…

    Dorota and Arthur are not glamorous persons. They live a quiet, solitary life, making films, without enjoying the dolce vita of the Warsaw film community. They do not need parties, cocktails and presentations.

    They are marked by God

    Sergey Lavrentyev
    film historian and film critic