Poland, 2007, 104 minutes
Wed, Apr 30 / 6:30 / Kabuki / TIME30K
Thu, May 1 / 3:30 / Kabuki / TIME01K
Tue, May 6 / 3:15 / Kabuki / TIME06K
A wondrous performance from 91-year-old Polish actress Danuta Szaflarska anchors this stunning cinematic sonnet about the everyday existence and vivid memories of an enchanting elderly woman. Aniela (Szaflarska) lives with her best friend, Philo, an unusually expressive border collie, in a magnificent but rundown mansion. Filled with dusty furniture and glowing reminiscences, the home’s dilapidated state contrasts with the lively spiritual energy around every corner. Alone and alert, Aniela spends her days spying on the outside world, waiting for a visit from her boorish son and bratty granddaughter and taking an occasional swig from a brandy bottle. It soon becomes clear Aniela is no run-of-the-mill senior citizen. Full of fiery opinions and profound thoughts, Aniela has the vigor of a college freshman. When she becomes convinced that her family and the government are conspiring to take away her beloved house, she takes matters into her own hands with surprising (and fitting) results. Shot in gorgeous black and white by cinematographer Arthur Reinhart, the film is a wonder to behold. Using evocative lighting and creative, subtle setups, filmmaker Dorota Kedzierzawska has crafted a film in which every frame is an inspired work of art. Whether focused on the simple peeling of an apple, an intricate dream sequence or just the fascinating face of Szaflarska, the camera consistently conveys the complicated emotions of Aniela’s inner life. This thoughtful, beautiful memoir offers a quiet exploration of aging and the magic of memories.
Sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.