DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

United States of Love (Zjednoczone Stany Miłości)

Director - Tomasz Wasilevski - 2016

"Filthy genius movie"
The plain, raw and empty state of women in post-communist Poland unveiled by young Polish director at Berlin Film Festival is out in cinemas on Friday

If Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski (The Decalogue, 1989, Three Colours: Blue, 1993) was alive, he would probably consider hiring 36-year-old Tomasz Wasilevski as a cinematographer. Both use the same colours in order to paint Poland in late 1980s and early 1990s. They remember the same things and created a poetic portrait of a generation that had their lives split by politic events allegiances. Women in Kieslowski’s and Wasilevski’s films manifest a desire to start life anew, free of personal commitments, belongings and grief. They search for love persistently but in vain.

The United States of Love is set in the beginning of the 1990s in Poland, where the society is trying to reinvent itself after years of stagnation. Schools are being named ‘Solidarność’ (in a reference to “solidarity”), the first West German spa visitors are bringing hard currency into the country, porn videos are abundant and TV constantly repeats images of the trial of Romanian dictator Ceaușescu. On the other hand, private emotions remain untouched by these external changes: all the hopes and longings are caught in the middle of work, family and religion, desire and abstinence.

Tomasz Wasilewski portrays four women in a small provincial town. Agata is attracted to a priest and secretly observes him. Iza is a head teacher who has been having a long-standing affair with a married doctor. Russian language teacher Renata seeks a closer relationship with her young neighbour Marzena who teaches sports and dance, while Marzena dreams of an international career as a model. Wasilewski explains that he grew up in a traditional Catholic family mostly formed by women. His father had to leave their hometown in order to find work, and so it is natural that his female characters are complex and prevail over male characters.

The director chose to shoot during winter time because it symbolises of a “dry existence”. The nonsaturated colours reflect upon the attempts to escape anhedonia and a body-hating environment. There is a married woman that falls in love with a priest; a lesbian who after eight years suddenly has the courage to get closer to her platonic affection and an unpopular headteacher who melodramatically fights for her love. The scenes are raw, plain, and the emptiness is overwhelming. Emotions are the same in Western and Eastern Europe, but their expression is very different. The sensitivity of the actors and the director and actors allow for a vivid representation of the lack of freedom and spirituality of these women.

The United States of Love is a touching and universal film because it reflects the complex emotional state of women. And it is vibrant because it unveils a plethora of sentiments in such a condensed atmosphere.

The film was part of the official competition of the 66th Berlin Film Festival. It is out in cinemas on Friday, November 18th.

Don’t forget to watch the film trailer below:



"Filthy genius movie"

By Maysa Moncao - 19-02-2016

By Maysa Moncao - 19-02-2016

Maysa Monção is a Brazilian writer, teacher, trans...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
A small family of four lives in a [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Holidaying in Cambodia with Isaac (Ross McCall), Ben [Read More...]

Read More

Camila Comes Out Tonight (Camila Saldra Esta Noche)

Ines Barrionuevo
2021

Victor Fraga - 19-09-2021

High school student embodies the quiet liberation of a country still grappling with the ties of a reactionary past - honest and profound Argentinean drama premieres at the San Sebastian Film Festival [Read More...]

As In Heaven (Du Som Er I Himlen)

Tea Lindeburg
2021

Victor Fraga - 19-09-2021

Female teen faces the prospect of a dramatic new life after her mother goes into a prolonged and complicated labour - Danish period drama premieres at the 69th San Sebastian International Film Festival [Read More...]

Benediction

Terence Davies
2021

Victor Fraga - 18-09-2021

Terence Davies gives English poet and anti-war activist Siegfried Sassoon a detailed yet protracted and monotonous biopic, too concerned with the writer's sexual life - from the San Sebastian Film Festival [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *