Animation is excellent, story-telling unfortunately isn't up to the same standard
It helped to read the plot summary to this short film because, although the limited dialogue is subtitled into English, it is not a narrative that is particularly clear in the telling. Essentially Zbigniev lives with his father, and is always buying items to bring into their home – looking for deals on the black market in 1970's Poland. His father disapproves, mainly because they do not need so many of these things. However a change in the dynamic between the two men forces Zbigniev to re-evaluate his approach to life.
The narrative is comparatively simple, and perhaps this is why the film does not feel the need to spell it out. However for me personally it was simple but not clear – the slow pace of the film combined with limited exposition asked the viewer to work out maybe more than was reasonable. As a result the plot did not grab me and, although I liked that it did expect me to do some legwork, there was certainly scope to make it more accessible as a story. This wasn't helped by the tone and the pace. Tonally it is, unfortunately, what you think of when you think of an animated Polish film – rather dour in tone and content, not filled with too much joy; meanwhile the pace is equal to the tone, in that it is slower than it needs to be, and goes on longer than the narrative requires. By the end I did have a disconnect between me and the character, that should not have been.
It is a shame because the animation is excellent. I have seen many stop-motions, and this one has a great natural movement to it, and surprisingly expressive characters. The wider city and locations are well created and filmed, and technically it is really easy to enjoy – although again, the ideal would be that on the first viewing you don't notice this so much since the story takes the focus. Although I think the story-telling needed to be improved, for sure this student film from Osinska says that she is someone worth looking out for in future.
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