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DIRECTING

POLSKA LOVE SERENADE

DIRECTORSNOTE

MONIKA ANNA WOJTYLLO

CELEBRATING THE STEREOTYPE

 

POLSKA LOVE SERENADE is my personal declaration of love to Poland, from which I had to flee with my parents for political reasons in 1983.

 

Since my childhood, Wilders “One, two, three”, “Some like it hot”, Polanski's wonderfully silly “Dance of the Vampires” as well as pretty much everything from Lubitsch and Allen influenced me.

I'm not crazy about reality also, but it's a fact that it´s the only place to get a decent meal.

 

So POLSKA LOVE SERENADE could only become a grotesque center and eccentrics, fish out of water, character comedy with satirical elements.

IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO SAY, DIP IT IN A BIT OF CHOCOLATE

 

The LOVE in the title does not refer to a love story in the classic sense, but is rather an ironic allusion to the German-Polish (mis-) understanding.

 

Language barriers and cultural prejudices on both sides offer a wonderfully smooth floor for misunderstandings. So the funny premise lies mainly in the clash of German and Polish culture, the fact of the inexplicable "miracles" and the parallelism of the story to the Christmas story.

 

The funny perspective arises because Max and Anna are two diametrically opposed characters. He is a fluffy young lawyer and she a left-liberal Berlin student. It becomes absurd in the society of Poles, where they have the lowest common denominator, their German nationality.

 

So we find the three classic types of comic conflict:

Man versus nature: Max and Anna against the Polish pampa.

Man against Man: Anna and Max against each other as well as the Germans against the Poles.

Man versus himself: Max against his prejudices, his narrow-mindedness and his German sense of order. Anna against her chaotic nature and her political "correctness".

 

Not only the two main characters are exaggerated, but also the Polish characters. Cliché, cliché, cliché is the motto here.

 

Why so many stereotypes? - Why not?

Stereotypes do not per se prevent the viewer from identifying with the characters.

They certainly offer space for the recipient to find themselves in them and maybe even to laugh at themselves.

 

And let's face it. Stereotypes provide security.

Aren't we going to the Italian because he makes the best pasta, the French because of the wine and don't we appreciate the dry humor of the Britons, but are wary with their cuisine?

 

Poles drink vodka, like greasy sausages and go to church to confess - of course after have stolen something.

Germans eat sauerkraut, drink beer and have Nazi grandpas.

These are all clichés! So what !?

 

You can't just erase clichés, but you can laugh at them and thus deprive them of their seriousness and thus their power.

In a cultural dialogue, you have to take away the fear of the unknown from the viewer. This works excellent about clichés. Positive and negative.

 

Pseudo-intellectual moralizing about political correctness and elegiac consternation cinema may at the first glance, fit better into the clean multicultural image concept of German film,

but remain either boring yawning for the ordinary viewer, who also has misery and sadness at home. For this he doesn't go to the cinema.

 

In POLSKA LOVE SERENADE I tried to deal with clichés in a humorous and playful way. They are so exaggerated that they satirize themselves and the viewer can laugh at them cathartically.

I believe that we can loosen up these prejudices in particular by laughing at ourselves and our neighbors with impunity.

Without reproaches, but with a reflected approach to social and historical conflicts.

 

This struggle is essential in a time of “dynamic politics” in Poland, but also in general for neighborly coexistence in the EU.

 

At first it was difficult to convince my relatives, who live in Poland, of the project. They accused me of showing Poland in a false “folkloric” light. Why wouldn't I tell a story about modern and beautiful Poland, my cousin asked while eating. Why would everyone in Poland drink vodka and eat sausage and cucumber ?!

I could only answer: "Because it is liked that and because I love Poland for it! ... And don't you have a cucumber in your hand right now?!"

 

The viewer not only laughs at the weird Polish characters in the film, the two German Anna and Max also serve all Polish prejudices against the Germans.

 

This film is intended to bring both countries closer. Humor and self-irony are an unpretentious and entertaining way of doing this.

 

Of course, Poland, with its impressive historical and cultural past, offers material for intellectually and emotionally differentiated stories. But since the people with the most prejudices cannot even distinguish Goethe from Grass, it is difficult to fall directly into the house with Mickiewicz. Maybe in the second step. The first approach of strangers always takes place through sympathy.

 

In the meantime my relatives stand behind the project and are happy to have been involved.

 

As part of the so-called “bridge generation”, I have of course a personal interest in bringing Germans and Poles closer together. I see this film as my entertaining contribution.

 

In this sense “na zdrowie”! To an ingenious exchange of cultures.

 

Monika Anna Wojtyllo

(Google translate)

 

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