*Contains no plot spoilers
Readers of this blog will know that I do love Polish culture and Polish films. Here’s another great Polish film that has come out recently and is currently nominated for an Oscar for best international feature film.
Corpus Christi, or Boże Ciało as it’s known in Polish, is a black comedy and drama about 20 year old Daniel (Bartosz Bielenia) who comes out of juvenile detention and is estranged from everyone he knows. He has zero job prospects, home or money and so wanders into a rural village in Poland, only to be mistaken for a replacement priest.
It sounds like the plot to a silly comedy doesn’t it? In less skilled hands it could have ended up being a parody of sorts. However, director Jan Komasa has cultivated an unsettling, compelling, powerful, emotional, raw and occasionally funny film.
The electric blue eyes of lead actor Bartosz Bielena seem to bring the entire world to a stand-still and his presence and power on screen, as well as his vulnerability is incredible.
This is a very Polish film in that it focuses on the more melancholy aspects of life and yet also contains dark humorous undercurrents. Polish films never seem to shy away from emotional gravity and the painful aspects of existence – this is no exception. Although this film is far from depressing, there’s a lot of life in it – a sort of youthful fire – it’s very erotically charged, alive, angry and visceral in many ways.
The story of Daniel and his redemption contains mountains of tenderness, matched equally with violence and anger. The playful and yet also serious way that the film examines the role of a priest in a rural devout community is also very well done, very real. Yet this film is as far away from being clichéd as it’s possible to go.
I really recommend you see this if you get the chance. I hope this film gets the Oscar!