Review: What Sun Has Seen-Co slonko widzialo (2006)


Director: Michal Rosa | 109 minutes | drama | Actors: Damian Hryniewicz, Dominika Kluzniak, Krzysztof Stroinski, Tomasz Sapryk, Jadwiga Jankowska-Cieslak, Kinga Preis, Malgorzata Hajewska, Jan Machulski, Jan Prochyra, Rafal Mackowiak, Andrzej Mastalerz, Bartachedrusikrus Gczyczekowski, Jacczekowski, Jacedrus Gczekowski, Kinga Preis

Most people know that it is still not a fat pot in Poland. It is not without reason that Western Europe is reluctant to open its borders to Poland. What Sun Has Seen paints a portrait of three different people who, due to money problems, are unable to fulfill their – often not excessive – dreams.

The dreams of the three main characters may seem far out of reach, but they are also realistic dreams. The singer Marta (Dominika Kluzniak) is saving all her money to be able to leave for Norway. She has met a singer whom she considers very highly and therefore she wants to find her happiness in Norway. Jozef (Krzysztof Stroinski) is in his fifties who wants to give his wife new teeth. However, there are very few good jobs to be found and he is not keeping his age, so he cannot get the money to pay for the teeth. Sebastian (Damian Hryniewicz) wants to have a tree cut down so that his mother’s grave is more visible from his house.

The story of “What Sun Has Seen” is based on newspaper reports, stories told, interviewed conversations and police reports. This makes “What Sun Has Seen” a realistic film. Despite its bitter undertone, “What Sun Has Seen” is never a truly dramatic film. The outlook remains always positive, there are always options left for our three heroes. This ensures that “What Sun Has Seen” hits you, but at the same time prevents you from sinking into a great misery.

“What Sun Has Seen” can be seen as an outgrowth of the Polish kino socjalnego niepokoju (cinema of social unrest). In the 1970s and 1980s this movement was much concerned with the consequences of the social and economic changes in Poland. At no time is “What Sun has Seen” really spectacular. The story develops slowly, but this gives you the opportunity to get to know the main characters well. The open end leaves you with the hope that Marta, Joseph and Sebastian will one day be able to realize their dreams.

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