Kto nigdy nie żył

Directed by Andrzej Seweryn

Kto nigdy nie żył/Who Never Lived is the directing début of Master of Acting Andrzej Seweryn. A number of outstanding filmmakers worked on the film, including Janusz Sosnowski,  an outstanding production designer (Seksmisja and Kingsajz), Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, music composer and Oscar winner,  Michał Żebrowski, actor, and Piotr Wojtowicz, an outstanding cinematograhpher working on the film (Sztos/Cheat, Różyczka/Little Rose, and TV series Ekstradycja/Extradition).

The film tells the story of a young and charismatic Father Jan (Michał Żebrowski), who used to work as a missionary in Africa, and now spreads the Word of God among drug addicts in Warsaw. His unconventional approach makes him successful in reaching out to their minds and hearts.

One day, after a routine medical check-up, he learns that he is carrying the HIV virus himself.  When confronted with the truth, his relatives turn their backs on him, and his entire life is turned upside down – he abandons his young followers and the parish to retreat to a monastery and face the tragedy alone.

Our province seen by Andrzej Seweryn

The film was made in several locations scattered around the Province of Kujawsko-Pomorskie – in Toruń, in monasteries in Mogilno, in Wenecja (a village in the region of Pałuki), in the palace complex in Lubostroń, and near Żnin.

While in Toruń, the film crew worked in several locations, including

  • ul. Pod Krzywą Wieżą – in the scene when Father Jan and Marta are walking around Toruń,
    the Heban hotel situated on ul. Małe Garbary, where the intimate scenes between Father Jan and Marta were filmed,
  • Dwór Mieszczański on ul. Podmurna, which “played” the hotel in which a group of “advertisers” from Kraków and Father Jan spent the night,
  • the Old-Town Market and the Old Town Hall, ul. Żeglarska, as well as the vicinity and interior of the Cathedral of the Saint Johns in Toruń – in the scenes where Father Jan and Marta are walking,
  • the bank of the Vistula River from the side of Kępa Bazarowa used in the scene where Father Jan talks to his friend, singer Robert (Robert Janowski).

Trivia

  • The script was written by Maciej Strzembosz (Ranczo/Ranch, Kasia i Tomek, Sługi Boże) in 1997 and 9 years elapsed before it was filmed.
  • To play Father Jan, Michał Żebrowski lost 15 kilograms of body weight.
  • As many as 653 extras played in the film.
  • Three employees of an advertising agency from Kraków (played by Wojciech Mecwaldowski, Joanna Liszowska, and Joanna Sydor) travel to Toruń to see a concert given by singer Paweł. In the film, the journey takes 3 days (including two nights spent in hotels, in the meantime), although the distance between the two cities is 420km, which can be covered in 6 hours.
  • As well as the region of Kujawsko-Pomorskie, the film was also shot in Warsaw, inside the palace in Radziejowice, and in Ląd by the Warta River.

Information on the film

Kto nigdy nie żył / Who Never Lived

Poland 2006, 98′

Directed by: Andrzej Seweryn

Screenplay: Maciej Strzembosz

Cinematography: Piotr Wojtowicz

Music: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek

Cinematography: Piotr Wojtowicz

Producer: Mirosław Słowiński

Produced by: Satchwell Warszawa

Cast: Michał Żebrowski, Joanna Sydor, Robert Janowski, Wojciech Mecwaldowski, and others.

Selected Awards

Polish Film Awards  – Eagles 2007 – nomination for Best Production Design; Gdynia Film Festival – nomination for the Golden Lion Award.

Important people

Robert Janowski

bio