Kino Mania: Jaskółka (Caged Swallow) 2013

Krakow-born director Bartosz Warwas received a rare privilege when he became only the second filmmaker in the history of the Łódź Film School given the chance to make a full-length final diploma film. The other was Jerzy Skolimowski, in 1964.

The screenplay for Jaskółka was inspired by a newspaper article about a woman’s traumatic childhood. It recounts the obscure past of a seemingly ordinary family filtered through the relationship between daughter Agnieszka (Ewa Kustusz) and father Zdzisław (Marcin Włodarski).

Agnieszka visits her father in their hometown after many years, but what is the true purpose of her visit? Warwas multiplies the questions as the story progresses. “The world is apparently wonderful. Still, a lot of horrible things can happen within four walls, just like in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet,” explained Warwas, commenting on the highly pessimistic tone of his film.

He wanted viewers to lose their bearings, but the fragmentary nature of Jaskółka undermines its raw potential to become either a decent festival-targeted drama or a nostalgic comedy-drama a la Paolo Virzì. It’s a shame that Warwas’ debut underachieves in dramatic force and directness.

Starring: Ewa Kustusz, Marcin Włodarski, Barbara Dembińska

Directed by: Bartosz Warwas

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