This year’s winner of Europe’s largest documentary film festival in Amsterdam, IDFA, without a doubt is one of the best documentaries produced in recent years.
The initial idea of the author was to make a film about psychiatric institutions and patients in Russia, and even during the first researches suddenly appeared Oleg, a young man trapped by autism, and his mother convinced that her son can and should do more to improve his life. Especially when it comes to women. And Oleg begins long battles to learn how to become Don Juan, to pierce even a little the armor that safely shields him from the world and girls. The camera begins to follow his therapies that slowly multiply and start turning into an interesting odyssey – from conventional conversation, to shocking, grotesque procedures, and finally to making the theater.
Following his hero, Jerzy Slatkovski with his team, in which an important role has brilliant cinematographer Wojciech Staron, manages to be present in moments of crisis, debates and quarrels, to capture moments of opening and closing of the main character, to capture his emotions and blockades, without ever endangering the intimacy of the situation, nor to exceed the invisible boundaries of participants’ dignity. While shooting this superb study of the human condition, the author and his film crew managed to achieve the ideal, unattainable request for filmmakers – they have become invisible.
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