What is the evil?

The film “Three sisters T”, which refers to one of the Anton Chekhov’s stories bearing similar title will be screened as part of this year’s festival. This feature debut of Maciej Kowalewski, already well-known in the Polish film industry, is a daring undertaking. 


The scenario, also written by the director, is based on his play, black comedy with elements of psychological thriller - “Three Trupki sisters” inspired bya true story. In 2006, in one of the Polish seaside towns a horrendous crime occurred… - says Kowalewski. It concerned a young man, who had never left his apparment where he had lived with his mother and two aunts for years. I imagined what could have been happening inside this flat and in the heads of these people. That is why I’ve written this play on which I have based the scenario of the film “Three sisters T” – the director explains. “Three sisters T” is in fact a story about dying which in the film lasts longer than only one moment. Just like the world that doesn’t end immediately but, goes though a long process of consistent disintegration” and as Ewa Szykulska - starring as one of the main characters – says: dying is in fact an unpleasant experience…

In a high-rise obscure block appartmentlive three sisters. All of them already passed their fifties andseem to resign themselves to the mediocrity of their lives. They are closed within four walls of the flat situated at the 8th floor and only sometimes let themselves to go on a sentimental but macabre journey of memoirs. The women justify their passiveness by the presence of Robert, a disabled son of one of them.

All the actors: Ewa Szykulska, Małgorzata Różniatowska, Bogusława Schubert and Rafał Mohr, who undertook these difficult parts, had the opportunity to play them both in the theatre and in front of a camera. The acting of Rafał Mohr is admirable. Apart from the challenge of playing a helpless man in a catatonic state who is dominated by overprotective women, he also lost 12 kilos in order to make it more credible.

Maciej Kowalewski didn’t have an easy task, because he as well aswe, actors all knew that we were born in a theatre and now we have to live in front of a camera. Maciek [Kowalewski] tried to work with it. Through the camera he observed the characters who weren’t fully real. He observed us from all the possible angles. The effect was a surprise even for us (…). While watching "Three sisters T" on the screen I really felt like I was participating in a video game... – says Ewa Szykulska in one of the interviews.

According to the director, a multidimensional film with great dialogues creates a cruel caricature with a vision of men absorption by the female element. Kowalewski consciously counterattacks. He envisions figures of demonic women, elderly man-eaters exploiting and killing men. In his film men are pushed into the roles written for them by the matriarchal culture. They can be naive lovers, hard-working bread-winners or children deprived of personality. When they try to escape these limitations, they die. I’m well aware of the fact that the film can evoke extreme emotions. That is how I wanted to make it. It came from the real tragic story, the rest was pure confabulation, and my vision of human’s nature in a specific place of inner struggle with our demons.
A form of this innovative film stir up controversy, interesting structure of dialogues based on various registers of language, the tensions created between the characters, their hatred, frustration and anger are captured in atypical form by the director. For instance, the use of shaky camera and unusual framing, are only few of indications of his innovative style.

The matriarchal regime imposed by three women is broken by the presence of young girl that appeared in the flat. Woman-mother is replaced by woman-lover, her presence causes a breakdown in the symbolical order that she finds. The film throws us off our daily routine, it irritates by shattering the reality the viewer is used to.

Maciej Kowalewski is an actor, scriptwriter, writer and theatre director. He graduated from Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts in Cracow. He was a director of Wola Theatre in Warsaw. In 2006 he wrote and directed a play entitled "Miss Hiv", which became one of the most discussed and controversial premieres of the season. Thanks to this play he received an award for directing in XII National Contest of Staging Polish Contemporary Art in Warsaw and a special award during the Festival of Contemporary Art “Raport” in Gdynia. What is more, he is an author of over twenty plays (among others "A Bomb", "Citizen M", "The Waiting room", "A story about a heart from the attic", "The adventures of BogoJogo ant").

The film will be screened in Edinburgh on 31st of October and in Glasgow on 21st of November, where a meeting with the director Maciej Kowalewski will also be held - one shouldn’t miss this meeting! We hope to see you there! 

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