This story of youth, romance, passion and protest is also a coming-of-age drama, set in Poland of the 1980s - a period of political turmoil, involving the communist system, the Solidarity movement for change, and martial law.
Against this background four music-loving boys decide to set up a punk band, enthusiastically naming it ATIL (All That I Love), not realizing that it will bring many things they don't love into their lives - including censorship, corruption, problems with their family and the state.
The protagonist Janke is in love with a girl called Basia, but his father works for the government while hers is a Solidarity supporter and because of this, they can't be together. A sultry older woman whose husband is a Communist supporter, and who lures the boys to her bedroom, adds to the complexity of their situation.
Against this background of political and personal conflict, Janke comes of age as he experiences love, sex, emotion, protest and revolution.
The strength of the film lies in its double-edged atmospherics. On one hand, it is a tale of love, romance, music, and youth. On the other, there is the palpable tension of political turmoil. They evolve in parallel, until the explosive, unnerving ending, when the young punk band unleash themselves on stage (the songs in the film are punk classics of the 80's.)
The film has won praise and accolades at festivals round the world - Sundance, Pusan, Rotterdam, Brussels, New York, Los Angeles. It was also Poland's official entry to the Oscars, last year.
The movie received the Golden Clapper Audience Award for the Most Applauded Film at the prestigious Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. And in a nation-wide poll, the film received the Audience Award for the Best Polish film of 2010.
The film's lead-actor Mateusz Kościukiewicz was declared 'The Discovery of the Year' ,and received huge praise at the foreign film festivals, even being compared to actors like James Dean and Heath Ledger.
Critical reactions have included:
"Deftly combining music, romance, politics and family drama, this autobiographical third feature by Jacek Borcuch, is a thorough charmer."--Variety
"Graced by dynamic lead performances and spirited direction, this autobiographical film proves hard to resist."--Hollywood Reporter
"Punk is a tool for them, they genuinely believe they are living in an unfair society where they can only express their ideas and emotions through music."--East European Film Bulletin
"It is full of warmth and energy, as well as an interesting attempt to face Poland's complicated recent past, which is already very hard to translate on to the screen."--Oscar Committee
Actor-director Jacek Borcuch is considered one of the most dynamic contemporary Polish directors and also he acted in the award-winning Polish movie 'The Debt' was screened at FCCT, last year. The film draws in part from his own life story.
In order to celebrate the screening of a much-talked-about contemporary film, and also their new Presidency of the European Union (until December), the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland HE Dr Jerzy Bayer, has kindly agreed to serve Polish Absolvent vodka and delicious Polish zhurek soup.
Don't miss yet another memorable movie in our Contemporary World Film Series.
Due to limited capacity, seat-reservation is recommended.
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