This film played one night during the Making Waves 2016 film series at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville NY. It is the story of four women's relationship with the men in their lives after the fall of communism in 1990. The film is beautifully written and the production is excellent. Once you look beyond an individual female character's immediate actions, you are confused as to what really motivates them. Yes, it makes sense that you mope because the handsome man does not respond. But why would you be attracted to this particular man in the first place etc. I was at a Q&A with the actress who played Agata. A woman in the audience asked what motivated her character and Ms Kijowska answered that she struggled with it. Then she fell back on the easy excuse that the lack of freedom to make bad choices in communism created this tension and frustration. I think it is because the writer and director is a man and it is a kind of male fantasy of power and control. For me one of the most powerful portraits of male cruelty reminiscent of the black and white continental films of the 20's and 30's occurred in a scene in Iza's apartment involving an open window. I may never forget it. Of course the consequences were devastating and Iza will pay. All of the women pay.
United States of Love
United States of Love
In euphoric early 1990s post-Communist Poland, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, four women experience an utterly different reality, sinking deeper and deeper into despair. Agata, a young married mother, finds herself consumed by an unhappy marriage and an almost obsessive infatuation for an unreachable man, as the frigid school principal, Iza, battles with rejection. Meanwhile, Iza's sister, Marzena, a 1986 beauty pageant winner and, nowadays, an aerobic instructor, suffers from her husband's long absence. Likewise, Renata, a reclusive middle-aged language teacher, finds solace in her singing birds and a silent longing for the unattainable object of her desire: her next-door neighbour. Sadly, as the quartet chases a pure and intense passion in all the wrong places, the piercing sadness of unrequited loves and the unceasing anguish of bitter obsessions linearly connect them. Does pain exist in the United States of Love? —Nick Riganas
Uploaded By: OTTO
July 7, 2021 at 12:07 pm