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“Body” – Love, Loss and What Comes After

I love cinema. A spiritual quality to Krzysztof Kieslowski’s work has made me a big fan of movies that focus on the metaphysical issues looking for a link to the world of the invisible and the intangible. If you keep asking yourself if there is life after life and how the human body, mind, emotions and spirit are interrelated, the Polish film “Body” directed by Malgorzata Szumowska is a little gem worth seeing.

“Body” is an intimate study on the relationship of a cynical embittered prosecutor, his anorexic daughter Olga and her ethereal therapist Anna. Olga’s mother’s death a few years before is the turning point in the prosecutor’s and his little girl’s lives. Both lost in their loneliness, they cannot cope with the unbearable lack of love and the loss of the beloved person. He takes to drinking, heavy smoking and becomes workaholic unable to take care of Olga. She develops eating disorders and ends up in a mental asylum. Olga blames her father for the family break-up and looks critically at his work and addictions, negating everything including his meat-based diet.

The person who tries to rebuild the connection between the prosecutor and his troubled daughter is Anna, Olga’s unconventional counselor and therapist that has gone through a lot of pain and drama herself devoting now her life mission to helping others. Anna has unique gifts that she incorporates in her work. She is a medium and sees other people’s auras, astral bodies and spirits who contact her to pass messages to their loved ones still alive. Anna claims she has been contacted by the spirit of Olga’s mother calling desperately for help. Will the sceptical prosecutor believe Anna? Will Anna convince him to make an attempt to restore balance to his dysfunctional father-daughter relationship? I cannot reveal the whole plot, however, I can assure you the action will keep you in awe and suspense till the very end, whetting your appetite for more.

Personally, I am grateful for this film as the production brings up an important topic and message I believe in, namely the human physical body, mind, emotions and spirit should be considered as one interconnected and fully integrated unit. This holistic approach confirming the link between illness and emotion and its psychosomatic effect is gaining more and more popularity engaging medicine and psychology to work together for the benefit of patients and their families. In case of the prosecutor and his daughter, the supernatural intervention from the spirit world seems to be a wake-up call to draw their attention to the core of the problem of self-harm and self-destruction. Those who love us never leave us and even without a body still watch over us from another dimension.

The film has already met with acclaim and great enthusiasm on the part of the critics and audiences. Malgorzata Szumowska won the Silver Bear for Best Director for “Body” at this year’s 65th Berlin International Film Festival. With the remarkable cast’s performance and Szumowska’s quirky sense of humour, I have a feeling that it is just the beginning of her “Body”’s triumphant festival journey.

“Body” directed by Malgorzata Szumowska, starring: Janusz Gajos, Maja Ostaszewska, Justyna Suwala. The Polish premiere: 6th March 2015