This debut feature by the Polish director Slawomir Fabicki is the hard-hitting and intense story of a 19-year-old who, in his struggle to support the woman in his life, is forced to enter into a world of evil. The film is realistic as well as painful. Philosophically, it reflects on the incompatibility between the material world and inner happiness in our consumption society.
Brought up without a father, Wojtek lives in Slask (Silesia). It is a grey world and it is hard to believe in a future when all that surrounds you are derelict coal mines and poverty-stricken streets. Here, even love comes harder. Wojtek is in love with an older woman: Katja - a Ukrainian emigrant with a child, and he is ready to do anything to ensure her legal right to stay in Poland. But the world of illegal boxing matches, small time gangsters and loan sharks has him cornered. The more he fights for a better life for his girlfriend and her child, the lower he sinks. How much will he have to sacrifice to free himself from a world of evil? Can he salvage that which is most important?
The excellent acting and fabulous camerawork contribute to making this film an amazingly strong debut feature with the highest standards of contemporary European cinema. (LC)