Dorota Kędzierzawska is capable of telling ordinary stories in an extraordinary and poetic manner, showing reality seen through the eyes of a child – the little protagonists in her films. This is exactly what happens in Jestem/I Am.
The film tells the story of a boy, 11, who is left alone, after an unplanned escape from a children’s home. There is nobody looking for him and his mother does not expect him to come home, although the boy wanted to live with her. Kundel (Polish for “mongrel”, a pseudonym for the boy) does not complain about his situation, instead trying to face life on his own terms, because he believes there is a different, better world, regardless.
He finds his “home” on an old, big, abandoned barge. The boy befriends a girl, who lives nearby, in a real, wealthy home. This encounter soon turns into the boy’s first infatuation.
Dorota Kędzierzawska once again chose Chełmno to be the film setting, and in particular its streets. Among others, we can see the following streets in the film Dominikańska, Rynkowa, Styczniowa, Świętego Ducha, and Toruńska, as well as gates and private tenement houses. Some of the shoots were also done by the Starogardzkie Lake, near the railway station, and in the Saints Peter and Paul Church.
Jestem / I Am
Poland 2005, 93′
Directed by: Dorota Kędzierzawska
Screenplay: Dorota Kędzierzawska
Cinematography: Artur Reinhart
Music: Michael Nyman
Producer: Artur Reinhart
Produced by: Telewizja Polska – Agencja Filmowa, Kid Film, Studio Produkcyjne Orka, Panavision Polska
Cast: Agnieszka Nagorzycka, Piotr Jagielski, Edyta Jungowska, Barbara Szkałuba, Agnieszka Podsiadlik, Janusz Chabior, Przemysław Bluszcz, and others.
The Gdynia Film Festival awards for cinematography, music, and sound; The Silver Screen Audience Award, the Award of the President of TVP Polish Television for Dorota Kędzierzawska; The Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography in Łódź – Grand Prix in the Polish Film Review section for Artur Reinhart; the SDP Film Critics Club – Warsaw Mermaid Award in the Polish Feature Film category; the Polish Film Awards Eagles for the Best Cinematography; Berlinale – Special Award of the Kinderfilmfest Jury; and others.