It Looks Pretty From a Distance (Z daleka widok jest piekny)

A Polish village virtually cut off from civilization and seemingly on the verge of dissolution serves as the setting for this brooding, almost wordless drama. The rough and impassive Pawel makes a living scavenging for scrap metal. There’s bad blood between him and the “community” (a more spiteful collection of individuals would be hard to imagine), and when he goes AWOL not long after his girlfriend moves in, the locals begin to loot and vandalize his home. What if he returns? Suffused with an atmosphere of torpor and malignancy, yet punctuated by images of bucolic beauty, It Looks Pretty from a Distance may well have an allegorical dimension, but the camera keeps its distance and all exposition is withheld. Quietly mesmerizing, Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal’s bleak and unflinching vision of a world in an advanced state of entropy is hard to shake.

2011. Poland. 77 min.
Writer/Directors: Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal
Producers: Anton Kern Gallery, Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal
Executive Producers: Filmpolis, Agata Szymańska
Cinematographers: Wilhelm Sasnal, Aleksander Trafas
Editor: Beata Walentowska
Production Designer: Marek Zawierucha
Cast: Marlin Czarnik, Agnieszka Podsiadlik, Piotr Nowak, Elzbieta Okupska