Piggies presents challenge to Karlovy Vary audiences
by Theodore Schwinke
Today, Karlovy Vary presents the highly anticipated world premiere of Piggies [+see also:
film profile], by director Robert Glinski (Hi, Tereska). A troubling depiction of child prostitution, the film will move audiences with its candid portrayal of a growing problem in contemporary Poland.
Glinski himself developed the screenplay from an original script by Joanna Didik, who had grown up in a small town like the one portrayed in the film and had known boys and girls who prostituted themselves for money and other goods — in the Polish vernacular, swinki (“piggies”, in English).
Opinion polls that show that 50 percent of Polish teens consider prostitution no less legitimate than other jobs available to them. “They don't have a moral objection to it,” Glinski said.
Most of the young actors in the film are non-professionals, including Filip Gabarcz, who plays the main character. Glinski did not reveal the precise subject matter of the film until he had assembled a cast. “I had difficulties telling it straight. I tried to show them the social background and so on. But they knew at once what was going on and they didn't have any problems with it,” he said.
The film offers scant sympathy for its young characters and is fairly damning of adults, which Glinski portrays as weak, apathetic and blind to the problems surrounding them. Even the Catholic Church, a central pillar in Polish society, is presented as a fractured organization more interested in festivals than in social ills.
Glinski says he has received invitations to present the film at Cottbus, Gdynia, Haifa and Wiesbaden, but that the film has not secured distribution yet in either Poland or Germany.
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