Section: Foam of the Days
Directed by: Andrzej Jakimowski
Dir.: Andrzej Jakimowski
It's the summer holidays. Stefek lives with his mother and sister in a small town somewhere in Poland. His father disappeared years ago. All Stefek has to remember him by is a creased photograph covered with scribbles; he always has it with him. One day Stefek decides a man he sees getting on the same train as him every morning is actually his father. Day for day, the boy sits on the platform waiting for the man to recognize him in return. When watching and hoping doesn't do the trick, Stefek decides it's time to prompt fate with a few tricks of his own.
It might sound like yet another son-finds-dad saga, but the film is refreshingly different both in tone and narration from that kind of humdrum product. The casually added music - electric organ and wind instruments - immediately creates a relaxed and aptly summery mood. Moreover, the director uses Stefek's childishly serious perspective to smuggle in, as if by chance, a few wise truths about life and love. Without taking recourse to kitsch or presumptuous pathos, the world of grown-ups undergoes a thorough inspection through the eyes of a child who questions their - not infrequently - senseless drudgery and striving for happiness in a way that is naive and sceptical at the same time.
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