Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Marta Nieradkiewicz about the film “Bow”: : “A space for debate on euthanasia”

Marta Nieradkiewicz she started with roles in series, including “The colors of happiness”, “Clay” and “Straight to the heart”. In 2013, she starred in “Flowing skyscrapers” Tomasz Wasilewski and for this supporting role she received an award at the Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia. At the time, she was hailed as an acting revelation. Three years later, she appeared again with Wasilewski – w “United States of Love”where she met with Magdalena Cielecka. The sisters played there, just like in “Fear” Sławomir Fabicki. However, this is a completely different relationship and different love. For roles in “Fear” both actresses were nominated for the Eagle – Polish Film Award – in the best leading female role category.

About working on a film set “Bow” says Marta Nieradkiewicz.

First, you went on a three-month film trip, and for the last year you have been traveling with “Fear” dir. Sławomir Fabicki after festivals, studio shows and you meet the audience. Do you like this moment of your work?

Marta Nieradkiewicz: – Yes. This is a very interesting moment. I really enjoy talking to the audience after a film screening. By telling the story, we leave viewers with some question marks, reflections, and invitations to discussion. What is interesting to me is their impressions, what thoughts they have, what they experienced while watching particular scenes. They often make very personal confessions, which makes our meetings very intimate. They are also very curious about our work and what it looks like behind the scenes.

The audience of the Warsaw Film Festival awarded the film “Bow”and this confirms how important your story is for viewers, which touches on the topic of assisted suicide, which is still a taboo in Poland.

– There are many people among us who have been affected by cancer and whose loved ones were or are terminally ill. This is a borderline situation that everyone deals with in a different way. It is an important experience for me as an actress, to be part of a film that opens up a space for debate on euthanasia and punctures a taboo topic.

Have you grown up with this story?

– Before shooting, we spent a lot of time with Magda Cielecka and Sławek, analyzing each scene and arranging the points of gravity. We were also very aware of the fact that these heroines are like a cogwheel. One of them worked very hard on the other and one did not exist without the other. I knew which stage belonged to which of us, which of us was the leader and which was the partner. Magda and I spent a lot of time during the shooting, which lasted three months and was shot almost chronologically. Not only Łucja and Małgorzata, but also Magda and I could go on this journey through Poland to Germany and further to Switzerland to the beautiful Lake Lugano. This space, outside the frame, had a great impact on what was happening between us in front of the camera. Yes, we could mature and at the same time develop our characters, their sisterly love shown in an extreme situation. The meetings with the audience you asked about are a sentimental journey for me. Images and situations from the set come back.

When reading Monika Sobień-Górska’s script, were you more afraid or did you have the feeling that you were taking part in something special?

– Two such wonderfully written female roles are absolutely unique for an actress. First of all, I was happy that Sławek Fabicki entrusted me with one of these tasks, one of these roles. I felt more excitement than fear. I knew that these would be difficult photos and demanding tasks, that there would be difficult topics, but it sparked curiosity and opened up completely new perspectives for me as a woman and as a human being.

Both you and Magda Cielecka are nominated for Eagles in the leading female role category. This is the only right decision, because, as you mentioned, you are creating one organism on the screen, “two-headed dragon”. We can see how much it physically cost Magda to get Małgorzata out of herself, and it’s Oscar-worthy, but I would like you to discover your weight, the weight of Łucja inside you?

– Thank you for seeing Łucja’s burden, because she is also a bloody character. When I read this character, I was happy that there was so much going on in her, that her position as Małgorzata’s companion on this last journey was not limited only to supporting her sister. Łucja, like Małgorzata, has her own attitude to life to which she is faithful, her own opinion about her career and family, and she has her own strength. She tries to influence both what surrounds her and her sister. Łucja sparkles with colors and emotions. I drew from myself, of course. This is, among other things, my job. I have a similar struggle and I try to face life. This is a new piece for me, which I haven’t seen in a cinema like this before.

Łucja, although dominated by her older sister, tries various tricks to change the course and purpose of this journey.

– It’s definitely not a smooth love. Each of them tries to tip the scales to their side. They fight like lions for their own. Margaret tries to set up a prosperous life for her sister, and Łucja tries to instill hope in life in Margaret. I admire Łucja’s determination and bravery, although we know that one day she will lower her guard in the name of love and acceptance.

Do you have your favorite scenes in the movie?

– I really like the scene in the hotel in Germany when Łucja covers Małgorzata with a duvet and she asks if Łucja is having a dress rehearsal. I also like the scene in the German bar, when there is total liberation between them, an understanding of souls and one begins to see the other and the other side of the coin.

Didn’t the intimate scene of Łucja and Małgorzata in the car, which I consider the most beautifully filmed in Polish cinema, arouse fear in you?

– Yes, I was wondering what the purpose of this scene was and whether such a close-up was actually possible. Later, during trials, I found the answer that it was a kind of sacrifice, an act of grace: I am able to do everything for you to alleviate your pain. There are professional sexual assistants in other countries who assist disabled and sick people in satisfying their sexual needs, which do not disappear.

While watching the film, I felt that not only the characters’ relationships and emotions changed, but also the way of filming. The initial rawness, a certain roughness of the photos, over time turns into soft light, chiaroscuro, and finally enchants with the beauty of nature. It is very soothing to the eye and the heart. The road that Łucja and Małgorzata travel is an equal hero of our film, it dialogues with us. During the journey, emotions change, the weather changes and the landscapes change.

– Yes, I also felt what you were talking about. When we reached Switzerland, we were already very tired, but the beautiful natural surroundings of Lake Lugano, overlooked by the windows of Małgorzata’s room, and taken care of by our Swiss co-producers, made the finale of this story very intimate. The emotions calmed down. The space was filled with silence that seemed almost metaphysical to me.

You turned 40 last year, you have been practicing this profession for half your life. Is your train with the HollyŁódź sign traveling at a good speed and in the right direction?

– I am happy with where I am professionally and with how my career is going. Of course, I have dreams, but I am resigned to the fact that this profession is evolving. It has its peaks and its valleys, but I like my path and I respect it very much. I’m glad that Polish cinema shows women who have so many wonderful stories to tell. The coolest thing is everything that’s in front of me!

Beata Banasiewicz / AKPA