ZEBRA Film Studio feature film "Bikini Blue". Reviews on the film.
TITLE: Bikini Blue
GENRE: Historical drama
DIRECTOR: Jarek Marszewski
PRODUCER: Juliusz Machulski
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Studio Filmowe ZEBRA / ZEBRA Film Studio
WORLD SALES: Open
PRODUCTION YEAR: 2017
The immigrant’s fate has long been a stigma for many nations. Along decades Great Britain has become a new home for people from all continents. The times in which “Bikini Blue” is set have seen nearly a quarter of a million Poles - traumatised by war and politics - find shelter and start a new life in the British Islands. For most of them it meant a journey to an unknown planet. It is the life in the “alien world” and an “interplanetary”, English-Polish love tale, that this story is about. Dora, a young English woman, and Eryk, a Polish exile, are a married couple. Their marriage, though fulfilling and happy, is torn by Eryk’s sickness and his rebounding past that has been concealed from his wife and repressed by his own mind. “All swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers” - Eryk tried to be one. Dora and Eryk try to redeem their once “stolen” future. This story is about the curse of a double life, which can be pieced together only through honest truth and with the help of someone close. After all, Dickens wrote that “love is in all things the most wonderful teacher”. “Bikini Blue” is a tale of love and madness in the times of Cold War.
Great Britain, 1953. Cold War lasts despite the summer. Stalin is dead, the British just finished celebrating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, cinema halls are possessed by catastrophic movies about the destruction of the Earth by Martians. 30 years old Dora Szumski is an English woman married to a Polish immigrant Eryk. He is a former Polish Military officer for whom the existing power balance doesn't leave much choice. He can either be sentenced to death in his homeland or be an immigrant. After a failed suicide attempt he stays in a mental hospital for Polish ex-soldiers. His wife, Dora, does not only sense the secret behind Eryk's illness, she also has some proof... She starts her old motorcycle to visit her husband in the asylum. However, the long expected encounter of the spouses does not end at the hospital. Eryk runs away and turns up in a wayside inn restinga his surprised wife from trouble. She wants her husband to go immediately back to the hospital. Yet, Eryk tricks her. Not aware of the deception, drugged with psychotropes, Dora allows Eryk to kidnap her to a desolated seashore. We are following Dora's trip into the heart of her husband's mystery.
JAREK MARSZEWSKI - a director and screenwriter. Studied directing at FAMU - the Film Academy in Prague. Graduated from the Kieslowski Film Department at the Silesian University. He also is a graduate of the English Department at the Wroclaw University. His short films have been awarded over twenty prizes at international festivals (incl.: „Berliner Tango” - Gold Medal at the World Short Film Festival in Huy, Belgium, 1995; Grand Prix at the Non Commercial Film Festival in Berlin,1996; „The Rats” - Grand Prix at the Short Film Festival Brnenska „16”, Brno, Czech Republic, 1993). He works on tv series („The Murder Comission” 2016), operas („Aida”, Italy/Qatar for Al Arabia TV, 2002; „Madame Butterfly” Italy/South Africa for SABC TV, 2000; „The Magic Flute”, Opera Podlaska, Poland, 2014). His feature debut „Tomorrow Heaven Comes” received the Best First Film Award at the Festroia Film Festival, Setubal, Portugal, 2002; the Best Actor Award at the Gdynia Film Festival, Poland, 2001; the Critics' Award at the Young Film Festival, Koszalin, Poland 2001. The „Bikini Blue” screenplay was awarded the Grand Prix at ScriptPro (Poland’s main script competition) in 2015. „Bikini Blue” is his second feature film.
REVIEWS ON THE FILM:
The review is titled "The Story of a Broken Man". It concludes with the statement: "Marszewski's pictures looks like a pearl from the 50's that got lost somewhere in the film archives. We can easily claim that "Bikini Blue" is the best Polish independent film since "Ida".
(* "Ida" is a film by Pawel Pawlikowski - it got Oscar 2014 for the Best Foreign Film)
The review is titled "War Trauma in the Old Decoration". There is paragraph in it saying: "Most certainly, the director with confidence and efficiency plays with conventions. He finds place for dramatic and touching scenes, especially in Tomasz Kot's appearance. There are also moments from the opposite pole: comic and even merging with pastishe and grotesque."
"Jarek Marszewski, the screenwriter and director of "Bikini Blue" researched in media the fact that after World War II in Great Britain there were psychiatric institutions dedicated only for Poles: ex-soldiers who had fought in the Polish troops of the British Army. Basing on this information he created a touching story of love that overcomes war traumas, lies and brutality to find a shelter in the world on the edge of reality and imagination. Tomasz Kot and Lianne Harvey with mastercraft contributed to the picture which with pietism refers to
the world of the 1950s."
The rewiew comes from "Gazeta Wyborcza" the biggest Polish daily and its cultural website. The review is entitled "The Fate of an Exile":
"Worth attention.A love story with insanity, post-war situation of Polish exiles on the British Islands and the curse of a double life in the background"