If you’re searching for absorbing, great Polish family drama with real emotions you should definitely watch Moje córki krowy (Engl. These Daughters of Mine).
Kasia (Gabriela Muskała) and Marta (Agata Kulesza) are two sisters coping with their daily problems as one of them – their mother’s illness – will start to change their lifes forever. Marta brings her mother to the hospital for routine control, unfortunately her mum suffers from stroke before she was checked up. The fight for their mother’s life starts and the daughters show how each of them minimizes the pain in different way. Marta, the older, is calmer, while Kasia, the younger, has a tendency to panic. The older one seems to be more serious, the younger one is more childish. Borth suffer, but search for ways to escape and help. They show not only different attitudes or emotions but also lifestyle. Even the clothes tell us who’s Kasia and who’s Marta. I really liked how the costume designer took care of Kasia’s outfits.
The great actresses, Kulesza and Muskała, ensured that emotions are mixed here with a topic of family all the time. We believe in everything they show on the screen. Marian Dziędziel is great in his role as father, with his natural laugh in serious situations. Kulesza belongs to the best Polish actresses, one of these who are famous because of their talent, not thanks to their Online presence or gossips. She’s known in the recent time mostly from Pawlikowski’s Ida and Cold War (only two movies and it’s amazing how this director changes Polish industry) as well as Suicide Room or Róża. Muskała still needed to made her name and this movie definitely helped her to reach broader audience. There’s alos another movie, made by her on my watchlist called Zabawa, zabawa. While Kulesza confirmed again her talent, Muskała showed that there’s someone in the film industry who deserves more attention.
Wikipedia mentiones the cast of the movie but not its plot. Still they wrote an interesting “information” about it, as they claim it’s a Polish comedy. Don’t get confused, it’s not. It’s a tremendously good acted drama with a slight note of comedy, as well as little bit dosis of sarcasm. The director itself talked in the “Making of” about the movie screening during the Gdynia Film Festival and the reaction of the audience which gave a standing ovation crying and smiling little bit at the same time. They didn’t exaggerate, I felt the same after watching it. Jokes about one daughter for sure being adpoted, as it’s impossible that the sisters could be so different is just an example of how the director introduced humour to a typical drama.
Another funny moment and the only mistake which I found in the movie was a short scene at the tank station, when Kasia’s son refuels the car and literally a second after he finishes, his mother comes out from the store. Either it was the quickest payment ever made or they showed the Polish stereotype about stealing and Kasia didn’t pay at all.
So typical Polish
As I do live outside Poland I tend to notice even more small details in the movies showing Polish culture. I don’t know if it’s sentiment but I do know that sometimes these details need to be explained. The first one starts already with a scene, when Marta calls her daughter and tells her to eat out as she needs to drive to her parent’s home. However, her daughter is already a student so isn’t she grown enough to make something to eat on her own? Well, it’s a very small example of a stereotypical Polish mother: always thinking about children. Next: a short scene in a hospital when Marta, a well-known actress, is asked for an autograph by the nurs. The nurse is realy nice until Marta disappears and the woman comments sarcastic: “What a big movie star”. Unfortunately, it’s something which Polish people still tend to do: we envy, a lot, especially if it’s a famous actor/actress, singer or sportsman/sportswoman. We do follow their accouns on Internet but mostly to talk over, not to admire.
Finally, one of the common myths about Poland: family. You could say that Polish women are getting independent and family isn’t important as it used to be. No, they’re not. Kasia works as a teacher and one scene, even though makes sense as it suits perfectly to the movie, shows how family still plays an important role in Poland. Kasia reads a short text about rich, but lonely, small girl who wished her parents were around. What a stereotype and cheap comparison. Rich are unhappy while family it the answer to everything. The whole movie is about the love between children and parents, but the above mentioned scene shows how stereotypical Poland gets when it comes to family. We tend to forget also about such values like friendship. Poles very often don’t think about their friends as family. If you’re happen to be during Christmas in Poland, and don’t have a family, you need to have great friends to not feel lonely.
What’s more, religion, yes it’s also here as it can’t be missed when we watch a Polish family drama. With one scene director shows our little deceitfulness: we belive in God but in a moment of doubt, we don’t hesitate to search for other alternatives even if they’re not true to the teachings of roman-catholic church.
It was surprising to find these small typical Polish topics in the movie. I was positively surprise withe the movie overall. Agata Kulesza is now my personal motivation to watch futher movies (now it’ll be really enough to just see her name within the cast). I was always affraid of the boring and hard to understand Polish cinema but it finally changes. And Moje córki krowy is one of the proofs.