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My Friend the Polish Girl

Ewa Banaszkiewicz, Mateusz Dymek
UK, Poland 2018 / 87’
Milla The Bed

A young American director is planning to make a documentary about migrants in post-Brexit London. Alicja, an unemployed actress from Poland who is barely making ends meet while working at a multiplex, shows up at a casting. Mysterious but with a tendency for exhibitionism; shy but sometimes provocative, the director is so taken in by Alicja's dramatic story that she decides to make a film about her. The camera gets closer to the women all the while putting distance between them, a reflection of the difference in their material status, social position and the privileges connected with their place of birth. Banaszkiewicz and Dymek's provocative, deceptive and animated film, similar to a vlog in its aesthetics, invites viewers into something of an erotic game in which they form, together with the director and the protagonist, a love triangle that can easily lead to abuse, violence and betrayal. To what extent can and should a director interfere in other people's lives? When should a voyeur in the audience look away? Does cinema still have boundaries that shouldn't be transgressed? Is mystification the only way to defend the protagonist from abuse? The unsettling My Friend the Polish Girl poses fundamental questions about the relationship between the filmmaker, the film subject and the viewer, as well as the responsibility that comes with picking up a camera.

Małgorzata Sadowska

Ewa Banaszkiewicz

Born in 1971, Ewa Banaszkiewicz is a director and screenwriter who is a graduate of the Łódź Film School. Her student film, I Wish, I Wait (2001), premiered at the Cannes Festival. My Friend the Polish Girl is their joint feature debut. Banaszkiewicz was born in London to a Polish-Sri Lankan family.

Filmography

2001 I Wish, I Wait (short)

2009 Przyjdż do mnie / Come to Me (short)

2018 Moja polska dziewczyna / My Friend the Polish Girl

Mateusz Dymek

Born in 1976, Mateusz Dymek is a director, screenwriter, editor and cinematographer, as well as a graduate of the Łódź Film School. His short film Ewelina! (2002), about an unemployed actress, premiered at Dok Leipzig, while his diploma film, Zwierzę powierzchni [Surface Animal] (2003), took part in a independent film competition in Gdynia. Dymek also directed the made-for-television In a Land Full of Toys (2006).

Filmography

2006 W krainie jaskrawych zabawek / In a Land full of Toys (short)

2018 Moja polska dziewczyna / My Friend the Polish Girl

Cast & Crew

director Ewa Banaszkiewicz, Mateusz Dymek
screenplay Ewa Banaszkiewicz, Mateusz Dymek
cinematography Michał Dymek
editing Matylda Dymek, Mateusz Dymek
music Tara Creme
cast Aneta Piotrowska, Emma Cohen, Daniel Barry, Max Davis, Darren Rose
producer Ewa Banaszkiewicz, Mateusz Dymek, Sebastian Petryk
production Warsaw Pact Films, PS Films
language English
colouration colour & b&w