These Daughters of Mine (Moje córki krowy) (14th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival) Review
Marta (Agata Kulesza) is an actress; her sister Kasia (Gabriela Muskała) is a teacher. They aren't close to each other, but have to come to terms when their mother (Małgorzata Nierminska) suffers a major stroke...
These Daughters of Mine (Moje córki krowy) is a second feature by writer-director Kinga Dębska (whose daughter Maria Dębska plays the role of Zuzia in the film). It follows Hel, from 2009, which I haven't seen. Her new film is oddly titled: “mine” would lead you to believe that it centres on one or other of the parents, but in fact we're with the two middle-aged sisters, once distant, brought together to a mutual understanding when first their mother and then their father both experience significant health challenges and look to be nearing their end. Having both parents in this situation – the sisters' father (Marian Dziędziel) is diagnosed with a brain tumour about halfway through – is dramatically somewhat overegging it, but the film manages to negotiate this without undue sentimentality. It's not the showiest of films, but it's a sincere one, very well acted by the two leads. Kulesza is one of the more versatile (and prolific) actresses in Poland at the moment, though apart from Ida not in films that have had much attention outside her home country. Muskała, actually two years the elder, has had less of a high profile and has mostly worked on TV, is just as good, and we see two women with significant differences but finding points in common. It's an unsentimental, quite moving film.
These Daughters of Mine shows on 9 April at 6.30pm at the Regent Street Cinema, London, as part of the 14th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival. Further UK showings and distribution to be confirmed.