Fantasia 2017: Spoor (Poland – 2017)

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for Cinetalk.net

Director Agnieszka Holland learned her trade with Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda. The Polish director is a three times Oscar Nominee, for Angry Harvest, In Darkness (both in the Best foreign language film category)and Europa, Europa (Best screenplay category, 1990).

Spoor, Holland’s new film (co-directed by, Kasia Adamik, her daughter)is based upon the book by Olga Tokarczuk.

A strange series of killings occur in Poland’s beautiful Kłodzko Valley (Near Czech Republic border). Animal rights activist Janina (played by Agnieszka Mandat) regularly confronts the local corrupted power (which share link with poachers) and befriend the outcasts of the village. Soon, poachers and officials are dying, one after another, and she tries to convince authorities it is animal vengeance. Could it be that she is right?

With its themes, Spoor is equal part animal-rights and revenge flick. At first, Holland seems to be over doing it regarding the best intentions (It makes of French director Coline Serreau), but ultimately there is something oddly radical and subversive about it. When nature takes revenge, it can get away with murder. The whole «strange circumstances» situation (the director is not really interested by inquiries, but do not worry there is a conclusion), provides unsettling results, beautifully illustrated, by cinematographer Jolanta Dylewska.

Spoor, is definitely a tale of our time.

Festival screenings:
July 30 • 9:00 PM Théâtre D.B. Clarke
August 1 • 2:45 PM Salle J.A. De Sève

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