My young friend brought me back from Poland a dvd of Pora umierać   (time to die 2007 english subtitles.). I checked online and notice that there are still some copies available but I imagine not for long. Get one before it disappears and spread the word in circles interested in ageing and films.

How come this little gem of a film has gone unnoticed, unpraised on the international film scene? There are only 4 obscure reviews on the imdb website, no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes or metacritic sites). Why is such a great performance of an 91 years old woman   ignored? why is the unusual black and white great cinematography passed over?  Can general ageism of the whole chain of the film industry be responsible?    I am not aware that academia either took notice of this film.  Directed by Dorota Kędzierzawska and featuring  Danuta Szaflarska, it is a poem of a film. Arthur Reinhart’s camera work is stunning . I must not forget the dog Phil.

I have no time at the moment to analyse why the film gave me and my partner such enthralling visual pleasure, but  I will quote BŁAZEJ HRAPKOWICZ

We know that death is in the natural order of things; that it is irreversibly part of nature. Dorota Kędzierzawska celebrates life in this film, but also tackles death. With humour and lightness she presents the portrait of a woman, for whom both past and present exist but the future is uncertain. Similarly to her protagonist, the director rejects a mournful tone – “Time to Die” is filled with a joy for life and acceptance of all it has in store, its difficulties, and its inevitable end. There are not many films in the cinema which discuss difficult issues in such an accessible and wise manner; there are few films which show the life of an ordinary person with such affection, yet without philosophical pomposity and sentimentality, and simultaneously without an exaggerated distance. Most importantly, there are few optimistic and invigorating films, which at the same time are not naive. Dorota Kędzierzawska’s film fills this gap.

REVIEW BY BŁAZEJ HRAPKOWICZ http://kino.org.pl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=158&Itemid=140


About rinaross

Born in 1935. MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster 1998. Studying the representation of older women in film since then.
This entry was posted in Ageing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to PORA UMIERAĆ (2007)

  1. vigosblog says:

    I think this has more to do with the Polish film industries lack of initiative to properly market and exhibit its own ffilms than ageism. If you were to say there is ageism at work then the film-makers would have scarcely touched the subject in the first place. Film makers undoubtedly have responsibility for marketting/selling their own movies – and why would exhibitors show a film if no one turns up to see it? Are older audiences ‘ageist’ if they are not interested in seeing films about their own age group? Are they ‘anti Polish? I somehow doubt it.
    btw ‘academia’ has certainly dragged its heels on promoting European cinema and the corrupt EU hardly bothers at all.

  2. rinaross says:

    thanks for your comment vigo. Why is it assumed that older audiences are not interested in seeing film about their own age group?

  3. vigosblog says:

    There is no assumption. Show me the evidence that there is an audience for a Polish film with an older central character.

  4. vigosblog says:

    I like to watch kaly/polish films on youtube. Their marketting is very poor. Most of the films do not even have english subs in an age where audiences are used to reading subs. Take a look at the film makers of this movie and see how far they have (not) gone to promote themselves or their work. Anyone can put up a youtube video these days. I watch youtubers making videos on an individual basis with 200.000 subscribers and as many views on their own and yet filmmakers recieve state subsidies to make films they dont bother to market, promote or exhibit and from states who dont care or bother to promote them either.
    If the argument is purely financial (generally disproven by succesful youtube producers) then this indicates a lack of support from the demographic who would wish to see such films.

  5. vigosblog says:

    …or not, as the case may be.

  6. rinaross says:

    This is a comment from Glenda Hemken an old member of the Film Group whose computer is misbehaving at the moment .
    Pora Umerice

    The border collie in this deserves an Oscar and the film itself merits a wider viewing.
    Until you get your subtitles sorted out the surly doctor doesn’t need any translation and you may think the whole film is going to be gloomy about the loss of old courtesies, but is that a reason to die?
    Glimpses of Aniela’s happy past come as a collage as through glass – a good comment on memory itself and it doesn’t follow that a son remembered as a sweet child grows into a kind adult. What will Fyodor the ray of sunshine with the enchanting smile grow into, I wonder.
    We eventually realise the importance of the piano, stop seeing through a glass darkly and blossom into sunshine even the ring might end up with the dreadful grand-daughter when she grows up older and wiser.
    Glenda Hemken

    Glenda Hemken

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