2028: The Girl Found in the Garbage, the Polish film that won last year’s Fantafestival, will arrive at cinemas on March 23, distributed by PFA Films and Cooperativa Cinema Mundi. Director/star Michal Krzywicki and his partner, Dagmara Brodziak spoke about it.
They returned to Rome to officially present the release of their film iMarch 23 in Italian cinemas the Polish director and protagonist Michal Krzywicki and his companion, in art and in life, Dagmara Brodziak. 2028: The girl found in the trash won the Fantafestival in June 2022, right where we meet them, at the Nuovo Cinema Aquila, and now this young couple of actors (both 33 years old) will have the satisfaction of seeing their debut work as authors come out in our country, a film independent, small and at times a little naive, but very well acted and with many interesting ideas.
2028: The girl found in the trash is set in Warsaw, in a Poland where a technique has been developed to render criminals harmless and to please those who do not want to keep them in prison. They are completely shaved, and with the application of a metal collar which injects a drug, the Vaxina, they lose all memory and feeling. They are, no more, no less, automatons, they don’t speak, they don’t have a name and they are used for the most humble and repetitive, but also humiliating tasks. Simon Hertz is an activist who has always protested against this system, and since his partner, Julia, mysteriously disappeared, he has lost the will to live. So he announces on his youtube channel that as an extreme act of protest he will commit suicide live on the last night of the year and everyone is waiting for that moment, starting with his lawyer who rubs his hands for the advertising revenues that will come out of it. But on the morning of the 31st Simon finds a frightened and collarless automaton in the trash and embarks with her on a journey in search of one last hope in humanity, knowing full well the risks he runs.
It is not a film with great special effects or ambitions, even if it makes extensive use of metaphors and can recall others: it is a Poland very similar to today’s, the one depicted in the film, an Orwellian world where, however, says Michal Krzywickii: “the protagonists have not yet been mentally crushed and in the end they choose freedom”. During their journey, in fact, little by little the girl (who takes the name of Blu from a television commercial) begins to see the world in colour, to recognize friends and nature, to learn again to recognize sensations and feelings. In an attempt to take her to Sweden, where her automatons are welcomed and cared for, Simon returns to hope with her. When we ask the Dagmara Brodziak if there is implicit criticism of the Polish political regime, especially with regard to women’s rights, she replies that the idea for this film was born in 2017 and they had no intention of making a political film, even if this aspect surfaced later . “More than politics – says Michal – “we are concerned about the division that exists in society today, the ease people have of feeling hatred, for women, immigrants, for those with skin of a different color or who profess a other religion. We no longer see in the other a person who would only like to love and live, like us”. Dagmar he is keen to underline the importance of caterpillars and butterflies in the film, chosen as a symbol of transformation and freedom.
As for the film’s meanings, the actress said that one idea that guided her during filming was that “when the outside world seems awful and oppressive we have to look inside, into our own little inner world. You have to take care of it and expose it to the outside world, for me it’s the only way of salvation”. Indeed, essentially 2028: The girl found in the trash it is a story of love and hope, “for this – the director continues – we left a thread of light in the finale, which remains open, on their choice of freedom. Simon’s character “was closed in his little world, but through this girl he gets to know another reality. Poles are often accused of being malcontents and complainers, but I think that if we make an effort to change ourselves we can change things too”. In short, a positive and optimistic message from the two authors and at the same time an exhortation to action. In fiction, the two are extremely believable and demonstrate a fine command of their craft. The hardest task fell to DagmarThat she often performs naked and with a completely shaved head (the one you see in the photo of the film is a wig).
To help her face this difficult challenge, she says, she had two coaches, because by never speaking she expresses herself only with her body and eyes and obviously having undergone this treatment was crucial for her performance. “The look of the character is what allowed me to get into it, I immediately felt depersonalized, stripped of all the feminine attributes that are emphasized and exaggerated in today’s world. But the shock came later, when I looked in the mirror and from Blu I had to go back to Dagmara, rebuild my personality from scratch, which doesn’t depend on my hair but on how I am. I was assisted by a Butō dancer (an art form born in Japan in the 1950s, made up of grotesque and often uncoordinated movements and grimaces, ed.) which is rather brutal, ungainly, for the movement. Then I had a meditation teacher who mentally prepared me just to rediscover her senses, which are kind of asleep in her at the beginning of the film”. An undoubtedly demanding and perfectly successful acting test, as you can see from March 23 at the cinema in 2028: The Girl Found in the Trash, which will be released – don’t be lazy – in the original version with subtitles.
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