(Glasgow Film Festival: Film At Home; Fri 26 Feb to Mon 01 Mar) https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/my-wonderful-wanda-ctbc "My Wonderful Wanda" Wanda (Agnieszka Grochowska) nurses Josef (André Jung), 'The Patriarch' of the wealthy 'Wegmeister-Gloor' family. When an unexpected complication arises, family secrets come to light and arrangements are made to try and appease everyone in this biting family drama. "My Wonderful Wanda" is an ensemble film, it’s about parents and children and what members of a family can do to each other. It’s not only Wanda who wants to be treated with respect and dignity; each member of the family longs for that as well. Wanda is the protagonist, she’s the catalyst for the developments and changes in the other characters, but these are just as interesting: a prosperous family gets themselves a cheap carer for the head of their family, but everyone in the family avails of her assistance to their own ends. Telling this story in all it's consequences allows for varying perspectives and surprising plot twists. In the end, Wanda has indeed helped the family, but to a much greater extent than they've imagined. And her relationship with her own family in Poland has also benefited from these events. The film portrays Wanda as a victim. Wanda is being exploited, of course. But she also goes along with it even to the extent that she secretly sleeps with her patient for money. So she can’t view herself as a victim. Wanda is exploiting the family, too. And what’s more, she gets along well with Josef. It’s simply a deal that brings her added value. Her conscious trading of 'sex for money' paradoxically lends Wanda power. Portraying her as a victim would’ve been too easy and also would’ve made it impossible to show her contradictory and strong aspects. Wanda thus turns the tables on the exploitation/subservience, above/below issues. The house has to display the family’s prosperity without seeming ostentatious or off-putting. Content-wise the film sees the location as an island, a metaphor, the story could take place anywhere where people are wealthy and able to isolate themselves. Family, you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them. Family is a motif we return to again and again. What's it about this strange microcosm, this genetically random family unit in which you feel secure or maybe even restrained? Family is a very broad narrative field, and everyone can feel their way into it somehow because everyone has family. 'The Wegmeister-Gloors' are put to the test, cracks appear, and unpleasant facts come to light. All it's members are forced to be honest with each other. This is liberating, at times funny, yet also very painful on occasion. The family almost falls apart; but for this is nonetheless a film about getting closer. "My Wonderful Wanda" thematizes the current issue of care migration. The outpatient care market is booming in 'Switzerland'. Agencies apply phrases like 'cheap, caring, warm-hearted, and there for you round the clock' when brokering staff from 'Eastern Europe' to care for the elderly in their residences rather than in a home. Increasingly often, over-qualified women from 'Poland' and 'Hungary' are commuting monthly between their own families and 'Swiss' households. The film is interested in what happens when a complete stranger gains deep insight into a family’s structure, and the inevitable intimacy that ensues. The model is often referred to as a winwin situation; relatives in need of care don’t have to be placed in a home, the family saves money, and the carers earn much more here than in their homelands. But this view is too one-sided. We’re ignoring the fact that these women have private lives, their own families, a daily routine they've to give up, and that money nonetheless remains scarce back home. So the benefits are very one-sided. What has to happen for these parties to meet on equal footing and for these exchanges to become fair? But there's also room for funny or absurd moments. There's room for imagination and suggestions. So not a classic social drama, but rather a 'comédie très humaine'. And the narrative tone is dry and sober to avoid moralizing.