Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011 6:15 PM
Directed by Feliks Falk
With Joachim Paul Assböck, Sara Sara Knothe, Urszula Grabowska
Polish with English Subtitles
Director Feliks Falk spins a gripping story about Joanna (Urszula Grabowska), a Polish woman to whom fate presents a split-second choice: whether to hide a young Jewish girl she finds sleeping in a church. When seven-year-old Rose is separated from her mother in German-occupied Warsaw during a roundup, she seeks refuge in the pews where Joanna goes to pray. Joanna, a piano teacher waiting to hear news of her soldier husband whom she has not seen in years, takes the child home. They embark on a relationship that helps to heal their respective losses. The contrasts between the bleak streets of Warsaw, the terror-ridden and paranoid interactions between the Poles and the warmth of Joanna’s home and heart sharply highlight the strain of trying to live normally during wartime. Joanna’s family wonders why she has become increasingly isolated, while Joanna faces difficult decisions if Rose is to survive. Falk, part of a school of Polish directors called "The Cinema of Moral Anxiety," expertly directs Grabowska, who gives a tour-de-force performance as a woman separated from her husband and struggling with fear. Falk’s experience as a painter and a theater director are evident in the gray palette of wintertime Warsaw and in the shades of gray that war brings to bear on morality. —Nancy Fishman
DIRECTOR Feliks Falk in person in San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto.
Preceded in Palo Alto by Opening Night Toast in the Oshman courtyard, 5:00-6:00pm
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