"Body" and "The Hereafter" at BFI London Film Festival 2015

Two award-winning Polish productions screen at UK's prime film festival

'Body' Małgorzata Szumowska

'The Here After' Magnus von Horn

Sunday, 11 October, 3.45pm
Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1
99 Shaftesbury Avenue 
London W1D 5DY
Box office: 0330 500 1331

Monday, 12 October, 8:45pm
ICA Cinema, Screen 1
The Mall
London SW1Y 5AH
Box office: 020 7930 3647 

The Here After
Friday, 09 October, 9:00pm
Curzon Soho Cinema, Screen 1 
99 Shaftesbury Avenue 
London W1D 5DY
Box office: 0330 500 1331

Sunday, 11 October, 1:00pm
Ritzy Cinema, Screen 2 
Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Ln
London SW2 1JG
Box office: 0871 902 5739

Tickets: £9.00 - 16.00£
BFI Film Festival Box office: 020 7928 3232

This year the festival hosts two Polish productions: Magorzata Szumowska’s Body nominated in the Dare category, which favours bold and arresting pictures, and Magnus von Horn nominated for his debut The Here After for First Feature Award.

The human body, in both corporeal form and ethereal manifestation, provides the loose theme for Małgorzata Szumowska’s blackly droll and entirely distinctive meditation on grief, which surprises at almost every turn. The film weaves together the stories of three interconnected, but radically different people – Janusz, a criminal prosecutor numbed by routine over-exposure to dead bodies; his daughter Olga, who is dealing (or not) with self-esteem issues and an eating disorder; and Olga’s unconventional psychotherapist who may be able to communicate with souls from beyond the grave. Each of them is emotionally crippled by the loss of a loved one and it might just take a trip to the spirit world to right what’s wrong. Szumowska has crafted an eccentric and highly enjoyable film that overflows with ideas and continues to prove that she is one of contemporary Poland’s most thought-provoking directors.

In Horn’s The Here After teenager John returns home after serving time in a correctional facility and looks forward to starting life afresh with his father. However, his crime is neither forgiven nor forgotten by their small-town neighbours. In fact, John’s presence appears to provoke those around him to give voice to their baser instincts. Writer/director Magnus von Horn reveals John’s story by gradual degrees, drawing us deep into the narrative and calmly building a profound sense of empathy. John’s crime was incredibly serious, but it is the insidious culture of brutality and its passive acceptance within his community that we are called to question. This captivating and beautifully constructed film has a challenging tension at its heart, which von Horn sustains with masterly control. A sharp and sensitive script coupled with eloquent performances ensures this film gets right under your skin.

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