Whilst Polish cinema has always been surprisingly fertile, it’s witnessing somewhat of a renaissance at the moment. Historically, the likes of Kieślowski, Wajda, Munk and Żuławski have created some of Eastern Europe’s greatest films. Whilst they’re a tough act to follow, there’s a new generation who are once again leading the charge. It’s perhaps Malgorzata Szumowska (Mug, The Other Lamb) whose work is the most exciting. She teams up with Michał Englert on her new film, Never Gonna Snow Again.
The mysterious Zenia (Alec Utgoff) arrives in Poland and starts working as a masseur. Born near Chernobyl, a few years after the disaster, he seems to have a magic touch. Well, at least that’s what the residents of the gated community where he works seem to think. They are a mixed group of affluent, yet unhappy, people who view him as some kind of miracle-worker; whose hands will be able to take all their worries away.
Never Gonna Snow Again is a bold and brilliant piece of filmmaking which inserts a foreign object into an unstable biosphere and analyses the results. As an outsider, Zenia is able to glimpse behind the curtain into the lives of a community obsessed with appearances. This vapidity is captured beautifully by Englert’s cinematography and contrasted against their notions of some sort of mythical ‘East’. Never Gonna Snow Again is abstruse by design, but your patience and observance will be rewarded.
Never Gonna Snow Again screened at London Film Festival