My young friend brought me back from Poland a dvd of Pora umierać (time to die 2007 english subtitles.). I checked online and notice that there are still some copies available but I imagine not for long. Get one before it disappears and spread the word in circles interested in ageing and films.
How come this little gem of a film has gone unnoticed, unpraised on the international film scene? There are only 4 obscure reviews on the imdb website, no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes or metacritic sites). Why is such a great performance of an 91 years old woman ignored? why is the unusual black and white great cinematography passed over? Can general ageism of the whole chain of the film industry be responsible? I am not aware that academia either took notice of this film. Directed by Dorota Kędzierzawska and featuring Danuta Szaflarska, it is a poem of a film. Arthur Reinhart’s camera work is stunning . I must not forget the dog Phil.
I have no time at the moment to analyse why the film gave me and my partner such enthralling visual pleasure, but I will quote BŁAZEJ HRAPKOWICZ
We know that death is in the natural order of things; that it is irreversibly part of nature. Dorota Kędzierzawska celebrates life in this film, but also tackles death. With humour and lightness she presents the portrait of a woman, for whom both past and present exist but the future is uncertain. Similarly to her protagonist, the director rejects a mournful tone – “Time to Die” is filled with a joy for life and acceptance of all it has in store, its difficulties, and its inevitable end. There are not many films in the cinema which discuss difficult issues in such an accessible and wise manner; there are few films which show the life of an ordinary person with such affection, yet without philosophical pomposity and sentimentality, and simultaneously without an exaggerated distance. Most importantly, there are few optimistic and invigorating films, which at the same time are not naive. Dorota Kędzierzawska’s film fills this gap.
REVIEW BY BŁAZEJ HRAPKOWICZ http://kino.org.pl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=158&Itemid=140