“Reviewing ‘Jesters’ by Gabriela Muskała and Chilean ‘Settlers’

What else is worth watching at the ongoing 39th Warsaw Film Festival? (You can find our suggestions for the most interesting films in the program under the  Our next reviews can help with that. Today, Gabriel Krawczyk shares his impressions after watching ‘Jesters,’ the directorial debut by Gabriela Muskała. Marcin Pietrzyk, on the other hand, evaluates ‘Settlers’ unfolding on the border between Chile and Argentina and warns that it won’t be a cheerful experience.

Excerpts from the reviews can be found below, and you can read them in full in the film pages.

Review of the film ‘Jesters,’ dir. Gabriela Muskała

Be a realist: don’t tell the truth Author: Gabriel Krawczyk

Before entering the building, there’s a reference to ‘Two Men and a Wardrobe,’ a student wearing a ‘Taxi Driver’ jacket passes through the corridor, and right next to it, someone breaks down a door with an axe, saying ‘Here’s Johnny!’ A day like any other at the acting department of the Lodz Film School. Before the truth resonates on stage, a bit of fiction must permeate life. To mature as actors, a handful of glorious inspirations is necessary. The gallery of alumni on the school’s walls motivates as much as it teaches humility.

Add to this competition, and it turns out that their success is not only about ambition, talent, and hard work but also about having a sensitive inner core protected by a tough exterior. So when a group of students is informed about a possible collaboration with the Great Director (Oscar Hamerski), friendships will be tested, complexes and traumas will surface, and the struggles from the stage will infiltrate their lives.

The seventh full-length diploma film, produced by the Lodz Film School, turns out to be the most self-referential work, directed by the debutant Gabriela Muskała, ‘Jesters’ reveals a hermetic reality that is surprisingly engaging. Young actors, led by Sebastian Delą, Jan Łuc, Justyna Litwic, and Magdalena Dwurzyńska, portray characters from a student team based on a partially improvised script. The characters are vastly different from each other and placed on a collision course, and as a result, they must learn from each other. These are relationships pulsating with life, convincingly developed in scenes within and outside the school.

You can read the full review of the film ‘Jesters’ on its page under the LINK HERE.

Review of the film ‘Settlers,’ dir. Felipe Gálvez

Forgotten genocide Author: Marcin Pietrzyk

One can reckon with the painful history of their homeland in various ways. In his full-length feature film debut, Felipe Gálvez opted for a mix of genres, allowing him to transform the history of a specific genocide into a universal tale of the pessimistic moral condition of humanity.

The events portrayed by Gálvez really happened, although beyond historians specializing in Chile and Argentina, few are aware of them. The late 19th and early 20th centuries were a time of rapid development of large ranches in southern Patagonia. These inhospitable wastelands were perfect for establishing vast estates for cattle and sheep farming. For European immigrants, who had little hope left in their home countries, this was a promised land. However, it demanded incredibly tough characters and a predisposition for brutal struggles. Although southern Patagonia may have seemed uninhabited, it was, in fact, home to indigenous tribes who disregarded the white newcomers. Conflict was inevitable. Most of the film is dedicated to what befell the Ona people.

The characters José Menéndez and Alexander MacLennan are historical figures, but Gálvez took some liberties with their biographies. He used them to tell a tale of human brutality, which in the film appears to be one of the universal traits of humanity. The residents of the wild south of Chile and Argentina faced one of two fates: either plundering, murder, and rape, or being plundered, murdered, and raped. Today’s alpha male could be defeated by a larger predator tomorrow. Survival in such a world depends on chance or possessing something that can be traded or bartered.

You can read the full review of the film ‘Settlers’ on its page under the

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