Where would Polish cinema be without booze? Last month’s Polish Connection release (‘Testosterone’), typically, involved a crucial, funny scene with a group of men gabbing, philosophising, fighting and crying in ‘vino veritas’. Writer-director Marek Koterski’s cautionary tale puts that tradition in the witness box. His heavily symbolic, often crudely stylised portrait of 55-year-old alcoholic Adam’s ‘self-crucifixion’ is an ugly catalogue of personal and familiar abuse, as the detoxed art lecturer sits with his traumatised 22-year-old remembering their conflicting versions of the father’s violent, guilt-ridden, self-deluding and suicidal drinking history, and the life-destroying collateral damage sustained by the son and their family. Koterski’s employment, and melding, of different actors to play the principals at various ages and his dependence on Polish Catholic religious iconography can be confusing, his use of talking Christmas tree fairies, guardian angels and the like can be a little heavy-handed. But his sincerity and evangelical tenacity is as clear as an empty glass.
Cast and crew