Never Gonna Snow Again
Małgorzata Szumowska, Michał Englert | Poland | 2020
|Director: Malgorzata Szumowska|
Co-director: Michal Englert
Producers: Michal Englert, Viola Fügen,
Malgorzata Szumowska, Michael Weber,
Agnieszka Wasiak, Mariusz Wlodarski
Screenplay: Michal Englert, Malgorzata Szumowska
Cinematography: Michal Englert
Editors: Agata Cierniak, Jaroslaw Kaminsk
|Alec Utgoff (Zhenia)|
Maja Ostaszewska (Maria)
Agata Kulesza (Ewa)
Weronika Rosati (Wika/Mother of Zhenia)
Katarzyna Figura (Owner of Bulldogs)
Lukasz Simlat (Husband of Wika)
Andrzej Chyra (Soldier)
Krzysztof Czeczot (Husband of Maria)
Rating: M sex scenes, sexual references & offensive language Runtime: 113 minutes
Never Gonna Snow Again follows Zhenia (Alec Utgoff), an angelic masseur trying to draw meaning out of his patients’ lives.
Wandering the streets of Warsaw, lugging a massage bed behind him, the placid, muscular Zhenia appears to materialise out of thin air. It will soon become clear that Zhenia is not all that he seems, an immigrant from a town near Chernobyl who employs a mix of hypnosis and massage to achieve his intentions: to bring some semblance of joy or peace to the lives of his patients, all wealthy suburbanites in a block of identikit McMansions outside Warsaw.
Co-directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert (who also helmed the film’s wonderful, wintry cinematography), this is a semi-surreal, often hard-to-define work, deploying magical realism to evoke the lingering impact of an interloping pilgrim both achingly human and somewhat alien.
“… the film reaches a genuinely symphonic conclusion, shedding any excess rancour in its satire to unite a community in fears over death, disconnection and, per its title, a winter that seems to get warmer every year. The enigmatic stranger at its centre may be a healer of sorts, but he’s no messiah: it’ll take more than a tender touch to save any of them.”