[Mowa ptaków] directed by Xawery Żuławski, Poland 2019, 138' (English friendly)
Based on a script by Andrzej Żuławski, the on-screen dialogue between father and son combines nostalgia with fury, the sublime with humor, old-school stylization with a sharp, penetrating look at Polish reality. The titled "Bird Talk" is a language spoken by people excluded from the aggressive majority: a history teacher tormented by children, a teacher of Polish studies fired from his job, a girl who cleans a banker’s villa, a florist with a clubfoot, and a student with a fascination for cinema. Pushed to the margins by the extreme right, they defend themselves with irony, songs and quotes from the classics. Andrzej Żuławski's script accentuates the degradation of intelligence, which, surrounded by contempt for knowledge, rudeness and stupidity, chooses its own sort of "splendid isolation." This radical artistic experiment that tells the story of a rejected communism combines the energy of Snow White and Russian Red with the anarchic atmosphere of Chaos. A genuine stylistic tour de force that, on the way to its ecstatic finale, evokes ghosts – of scenes, characters and the aura of films like Native Dancer, Possession, The Devil and The Third Part of the Night. It is hard to imagine a greater tribute to the man who made them – or a more beautiful film letter to a father.