If you’ve grown up in Western Europe it’s easy to become complacent about all the freedoms we’re afforded. Things we take for granted are very much major issues in countries not too far away. Many of the former Soviet Central and Eastern European states are much less progressive than you’d expect, even if they’re now in the European Union. One of the areas where these countries usually lag behind is LGBTQI+ rights, although most countries seem to be struggle with the ‘t’ aspect at the moment.
While homophobia does undoubtedly still exist in even the most liberal socieites, it’s very prevalent in Poland. A country with a right-wing government which has continually chipped away at liberal values and diversity. Silent Love, the new documentary from Marek Kozakiewicz, follows Aga as she leaves Germany to return to her homeland to take over guardianship of her younger brother Milosz, following the death of their mother. In order to do so, she has to make a tough decision with her partner, Maja.
Silent Love is a damning indictment of a country which in this day and age still shamefully discriminates against same-sex couples. Kozakiewicz chooses to tacitly observe the interrelationships between the three while at the same time following Aga’s journey through the courts to secure custody. It’s a stark reminder that not everyone is equal, even in an EU nation. Silent Love hammers home what it feels like to be ‘different’ in a traditional Catholic society.
Silent Love screens at Visions du Réel.