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My Roast Chicken

The marital crisis of a young couple that moves back to Poland after five years in Canada is treated with quiet realism in Iwony Siekierzynska's made-for-TV debut "My Roast Chicken." A rather rhythmless storyline moves the film forward by fits and starts, but specialized TV outlets should appreciate its down-to-earth portrait of today's Poland.

The marital crisis of a young couple that moves back to Poland after five years in Canada is treated with quiet realism in Iwony Siekierzynska’s made-for-TV debut “My Roast Chicken.” Fiercely undramatic, this short mood piece brims over with Ken Loach-ish respect for its characters, who struggle for economic survival and non-material satisfactions. A rather rhythmless storyline moves the film forward by fits and starts, but specialized TV outlets should appreciate its down-to-earth portrait of today’s Poland.

Magda (Agata Kulesza), Wojtek (Adam Nawojczyk), and their 9-year-old son Antos move into a cramped Lodz apartment with Magda’s mother (Maja Maj). Their marriage teeters until they find ways to affirm themselves: Magda through a documentary filmmaking class and Wojtek through a roast chicken stand. Inadvertently and rather amusingly, the film starts to measure itself against the theories of Magda’s stern film teacher, who keeps plugging realism. Though the young leads are quite natural, they occasionally get trapped in ideas, like their big confrontation scene where Magda is bizarrely silent because it’s been established that she’s only able to communicate through film. Witold Plociennik’s cinematography is high quality in an unshowy way.

My Roast Chicken

Poland

  • Production: A Polish Television/Film Agency production. (International sales: TVP - Poltel Ent., Warsaw.) Produced by Dariusz Jablonski, Violetta Kaminska. Directed, written by Iwona Siekierzynska.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Witold Plociennik; editor, Anna Baraniecka-Wagner; music, Janusz Grudzinski; production designers, Anna Wunderlich, Jaroslav Zebrowski. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 20, 2003. Running time: 63 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Agata Kulesza, Adam Nawojczyk, Maja Maj, Antoni Barszczak.
  • Music By: