SCANDINAVIAN SKIES: Strange Heaven
A Polish couple living in Sweden – Marek (Bartłomiej Topa), a sports coach, and Basia (Agnieszka Grochowska, awarded for her role at the festival in Gdynia), a masseuse – are experiencing a crisis. Their arguments have a negative impact on their daughter Ula, whose behaviour becomes worrying for the school and then for social welfare. To protect the girl from domestic violence, a social worker Anita (played by Ewa Fröling, memorable from Fanny and Alexander by Bergman) takes action and transfers Ula to the foster family. The parents are starting a dramatic battle against bureaucracy to get their own daughter back. Strange Heaven provoked discussion about the condition of the Polish family and the limits of interference in their affairs. Tadeusz Sobolewski wrote in his review:„While we are afraid of foreign newcomers, this film reverses the perspective – it shows the strangeness of Polish migrants and the mutual alienation of Europeans, not to demonize it, but to understand it. Confronting the Polish and Swedish families, who have a child in common, Gajewski does not fall into the Polish complex, but he transgresses it.”
guest: Dariusz Gajewski (director)
Film and theatre director, scriptwriter. Vice President of the Polish Filmmakers Association, member of the Polish Film Academy and the European Film Academy. He studied law at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków and directing at the Łódz Film School. His famous Warsaw (2003) was a great discovery of the Gdynia Film Festival, where it was honored with the Grand Prix Golden Lions for the best film. Among others, it was followed by the films: Mr. Kuka’s Advice (2007) and Strange Heaven (2015), which won at the Off Camera Festival in Kraków.