(K. Brent Tomer),
THE FALL of the Berlin Wall in 1989 opened the door to newfound abundance and freedom, from supermarket shelves bursting with variety to the easing of travel restrictions. Yet for millions in the former communist bloc, life did not change overnight. “United States of Love”, a new Polish film directed by Tomasz Wasilewski, enters the private worlds of four women in 1990 whose lives continue much as usual. Audiences will find none of the elation of “Good Bye Lenin!”, a 2003 film set in East Berlin as the wall is toppled. Rather, the historic is muffled by the everyday. Acutely observed and bleakly erotic, the film is less a judgement of that era than an exploration of the human need for intimacy, whatever the current regime.
Parallel stories unfold in a cluster of housing blocks outside an unnamed town in Poland. Agata (Julia Kijowska) is a married woman fixated on a young Catholic priest who warns “not to profanate” the body. Down the corridor, elegant headmistress Iza (Magdalena Cielecka) pursues a widowed doctor. Her younger sister Marzena (Marta Nieradkiewicz) is a former beauty queen whose husband left her for a better…Continue reading