My Friend the Polish Girl (Rotterdam 2018 – Film 1)

***This film isn’t as creepy/weird as it may seem in the trailer btw!^***

So Day 1 of Rotterdam and my friends and I had the worst luck, got stuck wondering around in the pouring rain trying to figure out where the heck we were going haha, but we had this screening in the evening even though we were all knackered…

This film is more of a documentary style which follows an aspiring filmmaker Katie who wants to document a strangers life. Following many interviews with strangers living in London, she comes across Alicja who is a Polish woman living in London. Katie took an interest in Alicja’s life because she stated her partner had cancer; therefore wanted to document her life. It turned out that Alicja’s partner used to have cancer but is now in the clear, but Katie decides to keep filming. Over a course of a year and a half, the audience see’s how Alicja’s life changes. The documentary takes a major toll on Alicja’s life and leaves her in problematic situations. (Don’t wanna spoil)

There were some interesting aspects of the film to say so the least… many long durational shots of Alicja just walking/doing daily activities. Random animation sketches which followed from the previous shots; however I liked that because it brought an edge to the film and broke up the continuity of Alicja’s face being on screen 24/7. Half the film was in colour and the other half black and white, we questioned the directors at the end of the screening to see whether there was any relevance to this and they said it was mainly due to budget reasons as they had quite a small crew. It did through me off a bit personally however it didn’t change anything. Watching this film with all boys also wasn’t a great idea because there were a few scenes containing nudity/erotic movements haha so they were acting like 8 year olds in their first PSHE lesson.

I thought the overall concept of the film was very easy, like it was a very simple idea that could be done by anyone really. The directors said it took them 3 years to produce/finalise but it was their first feature film! I think that’s why they used elements like animation, colours and seduction to make it stand out a bit more from the main concept. I also liked how they told the story through a filmmaker even though she didn’t actually film it! However Katie’s narration over the top, telling the story through her really helped to understand the context of Katie’s interest with Alicja.

It was an interesting first watch, I did enjoy it and found it different from anything i’ve seen before. I also found it interesting to see what future filmmakers are producing and what ideas they come up with! I don’t think the boys enjoyed it very much as most of them kept dozing off, whether that was because we were exhausted and looked like drowned rats or they just didn’t enjoy it i’m not so sure!

The only thing I didn’t like about this film was the ending, how they faked the ending and was like ‘oh wait but this didn’t actually happen’. I think it dragged on a bit after that… like nothing really happened apart from Katie finishing her documentary then moving away from Alicja.

I rated this a 3/5 on the score card!

6.4/10 on IMDB.

 

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