Beyond Words – Movie Review

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English Title – Beyond Words

Original Title – Pomiędzy słowami

Direction – Urszula Antoniak

Country – Poland / Netherlands

Language – Polish & German

Releasing Year – 2017

Genre – Drama

Beyond Words Storyline

Michael (Jakub Gierszał) is 28 years old, he is a Polish-born German lawyer who works in a prestigious Berlin firm doing legal audits and from time to time, defending pro bono people in need, mostly refugees. With his best friend and boss, Franz (Christian Löber), they frequent classy restaurants, hip bars and erotic clubs. He’s obsessed with being a perfect German-speaker trying too hard to imitate the Berlin accent.

Everything is fine until a man arrives on the scene, his father, Stanisławem (Andrzej Chyra): a loiterer, a “bohemian” old Polish man who doesn’t care much about everyday life. Michael recognizes him immediately … “With him I don’t feel anything”, he says. Together they’ll have a wonderful weekend discovering themselves, with fun and anger, with empathy and mistrust in the way. Michael will understand he is not a German but an immigrant and will be shocked to rediscover his true Polish origin.

He will enter into a deep crisis which will make him finish, literally, in an African pub, where his sense of belonging may end into a dangerous psychotic state.

Beyond Words Movie Review

The film has wonderful artistic dynamics, with a deep impactful script which explains very well the not-so-easy life of Polish immigrants in Germany and the risk of living there is just a delusion. The Brandenburg lawyer’s lifestyle is quite accurately depicted, with fine dining and clubbing in everyday life, as a way to avoid or escape an apparent obsessive-compulsive disorder in the so rigorous and demanding Berlin jurist career.

Watch out the use of drugs. The “bohemian” appearance of the main character’s father into scene will play wonderfully into Berlin’s venues, and the dilemma he will confront can shake our conception of Germany’s multiculturalism from the base. So I am giving 8 out 10 to Beyond Words and strongly recommend you all to watch this Polish masterpiece. 

The film was premiered at the 42nd annual Toronto International Film Festival.

Reviewed By: Jorge Isaac Veytia