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United States of Love

Poland, Polish, 104 mins

Original Title

Zjednoczone stany milosci
  • Director: Tomasz Wasilewski
  • Writer: Tomasz Wasilewski
  • Producer: Agnieszka Drewno; Piotr Kobus

CGiii Comment

With a muted palate, Wasilewski paints a pretty bleak picture...of Poland, in the early 90s.

What must it have been like to witness the vulgarities and fetishes of the Western World?

Unfortunately, Wasilewski refuses to explore this train of thought...apart from a tiny sideline business in porn videos! Instead, he focuses on the misery of 4 women...none of whom have any redeeming qualities whatsoever.

This is a bitterly cold film...its dreariness is confounded by the direction. Wasilewski protracts and repeats religious rituals with unrelenting cheerlessness. The burden of faith is an excruciating watch! And, nudity...the incessant (and unnecessary) nudity has never been so...for want of a better word...unattractive.

These are lives entombed in monotony...you really do need a death wish to see it through to the end. This film is hard, unrewarding, badly-edited dirge on humanity.

The lesbian storyline comes in at the end...too late, the cinema has emptied!

Wasilewski has managed - yet again - to dive into the pool of misanthropy...losing his audience on the way down.

Grim, gruesome, gruelling...garbage.


The(ir) Blurb...

It is the beginning of the 1990s and Polish society is trying to redefine itself after years of stagnation. Schools are being named ‘Solidarnosc’, the first West German spa visitors are bringing hard currency into the country, porn videos are doing the rounds and TV constantly repeats images of the trial of Rumanian dictator Ceaușescu. But private emotions remain untouched by these external changes: all the hopes and longings, caught between work, family and religion, desire and abstinence.

Tomasz Wasilewski portrays four women in a small provincial town. Agata is attracted to a priest and secretly observes him. Iza is a head teacher who has been having a long-standing affair with a married doctor. Russian language teacher Renata seeks a closer relationship with her young neighbour Marzena who teaches sports and dance, while Marzena herself dreams of an international career as a model.

Shot in desaturated colours and with a muted production design, this drama reflects upon the attempts to escape an anti-pleasure, body-hating environment. Wasilewski’s subject is the death throes of a society – and the emotional impoverishment of the individual.

Cast & Characters

Julia Kijowska as Agata;
Magdalena Cielecka as Iza;
Dorota Kolak as Renata;
Marta Nieradkiewicz as Marzena;
Andrzej Chyra as Karol

From the same director:

Floating Skyscrapers

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