With no capable adult present to coordinate their everyday life, a young girl takes on the responsibility as head of her family.
Poland, 2016 72 minutes
Ola is 14-years-old and the head of her family. She struggles with superhuman tasks including taking care of Nikodem her autistic brother who lives in his own world. She also keeps an eye on their alcoholic father who loves them, but is not skilled at handling real life. Ola’s biggest wish is for her mother to rejoin the family. Her mother, however, is now living with another man and has his baby. The upcoming communion of Nikodem–an important rite of passage in a highly devout Catholic country such as Poland–seems to be the perfect opportunity to bring everyone together and create a basis for her return.
Anna Zamecka’s debut documentary won many awards, including the European Film Award for Best Documentary and the Critics Week Award at Locarno, where the film had its world premiere. Shot in only 35 days over the course of a year, this highly cinematic coming-of-age story has atmosphere and poetry. Zamecka told Filmmaker Magazine in an interview that Ola’s situation resonates with her own childhood, and the film has a deeply personal feel.
«Shot in only 35 days over the course of a year, this highly cinematic coming of age story has atmosphere and poetry.»
The camera follows Ola and Nikodem’s daily life in their tiny apartment an hour’s drive outside of Warsaw. Their apartment is too small and their resources scarce, but nothing is as troubling as the lack of a central adult to coordinate the family life. Ola does her best and seems to handle things well without realising that she handles too much.