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“All Our Fears” in cinemas from November 5th

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“Beautiful and up-to-date” – judged by the jury of this year’s Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, awarding the Golden Lions to Łukasz Ronduda and Łukasz Gutt’s “All Our Fears”. And although this verdict was a surprise to many, it must be admitted that we have not had a film so up-to-date in a long time. Today it entered theaters.

First he was Daniel Rycharski’s project “Cross”behind which was a dramatic story of the suicide of girls in love with each other. Later, Łukasz Ronduda, the creator of “Heart of Love”, and Łukasz Gutt, who made his debut as a director, decided to make Rycharski the hero of their film.

The out-of-the-box gay artist – combining a homosexual identity with Christian spirituality (played by Dawid Ogrodnik in the film) – turned out to be a more interesting character than most of the fictional characters. In the era of increasing homophobia in Poland, calls for the creation of “LGBT-free zones”, a moving work was created, which is an appeal for tolerance and a call to community behavior.

“Beautiful and up-to-date” – assessed the jury of this year’s Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, awarding Golden Lions to “All Our Fears”. And although this verdict was a surprise to many, it must be admitted that we have not had a film so topical for a long time, which in such a moving way calls for reconciliation in a divided homeland.

Still from the movie “All our fears”, which from today in cinemasJarosław Sosiński / Kino Świat

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All our faults

“All Our Fears” is Łukasz Ronduda’s third film. They all form a unique trilogy about contemporary visual artists. The latter is undoubtedly easier to read than “Heart of Love” or “The Performer”, if only because it is more realistic.

We get to know our hero – not only an artist, but also a local activist, when together with the parish priest he tests a chapel he made in his home village. She, with the voices of parishioners, greets those who pass by with a loud: “Praised!”. Daniel goes to oases, does not miss Sunday masses, is involved in the life of the village, leading agricultural blockades. He is liked, although he is touched by homophobic shouts again and again, because he does not hide his orientation and relationship with a younger man.

He doesn’t look like a “typical” village resident. He has bleached blonde hair, an earring in his ear and a tracksuit with a rainbow stripe – as his beloved grandmother with “elgiebet” says (played by the excellent Maria Maj). Daniel also wears a cross and a rosary. He believes that gay identity is not mutually exclusive with Christian identity.

A sudden turn in his relations with his neighbors follows the tragedy: a young lesbian, tormented by her surroundings, commits suicide (she hangs herself on a tree). Then he will hear that he is to blame for her death, because he “pushed nonsense into her head”. Daniel feels complicit because he could not protect her, he did not notice that she was suffering. As part of penance, he organizes the Way of the Cross, in which he persuades all the inhabitants of the village, repeating “we have sinned”. Not only the relatives of the victim but also the local priest do not want to take part in it.

It is then that the cross appears in a double “role” – a symbol of the suffering suffered by the suicide woman, but also an element of Daniel’s art. Raised out of the tree on which the girl hanged herself, “dressed” in her garments. (The title of the film comes from the famous work by Rycharski “Fears” – colorful crosses clad in the clothes of LGBT suicides who committed suicide, are located in the author’s home village – in Kurówka, near Sierpc.)

With this cross, he will be exhibited at the Warsaw gallery (this event actually took place – at the Museum of Modern Art), but only the lonely way of the cross through the streets of the capital will allow him to fully demonstrate his solidarity with those persecuted because of sexual orientation. This is also when his great loneliness is best seen. On his side, he has only his grandmother who loves him immensely. The father renounces him as easily as the people in the village.

Let us quickly find out that the creators want to see Poland and Poles in miniature in tiny Kurówek – excluding “others”, divided, reluctant to examine their conscience and hit their breasts.

Daniel Rycharski and Dawid Ogrodnik at the Tuesday premiere of the film call for toleranceJarosław Sosiński / Kino Świat

A village we do not know

When watching “All our fears”, it is worth paying attention to the way the Polish countryside is presented. We are used to pictures full of mockery or even contempt for the Polish countryside and provinces. The exception was the wonderful “Corpus Christi” of Jan Komasa.

Ronduda and Gutt followed the same path. We will not find a priest stupidly asking young heroes in the confessional about the sin of impurity, or even a village leader who abuses power. We will be delighted with the population and colorfulness of the Masovian countryside, perhaps for the first time in many years the village becomes a field for reflection for art.

“All Our Fears” is perhaps the most important Polish film in recent years. Despite the fact that, in my opinion, it is not completely artistically fulfilled. Despite many similarities, he is far from the Oscar-nominated “Corpus Christi”. With all the fluidity of the scenario devoid of didacticism, there is a lot of pathos and simplifications in it, which can irritate. Despite this, the film does not stop moving.

A lot of credit for this is also due to the great actors. In addition to the always convincing Dawid Ogrodnik and the aforementioned sensational Maria Maj, in the role of the soulless father of Daniel, the faultless Andrzej Chyra, and Jowita Budnik, as the mother of a suicide woman, exposes monstrous confusion and helplessness in the face of loss.

Krzysztof Krauze used to say that “films are worth making only in defense of something”. “All our fears” arose in defense of the dignity of all the excluded, in defense of their right to love. The question is whether those who deny them will see it.

Still from “All our fears”Jarosław Sosiński / Kino Świat

Main photo source: FPFF / Jaroslaw Sosinski

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