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Dziwny jest ten swiat (Strange is this world) short film review

Directed by: #MacieKaliski

Written by: #MacieKalinski



Polish filmmaker #MaciekKaliski has produced a 4 minute short entitled ‘Dziwny, jest ten swiat’ which translates into English as ‘Strange is this world’: a not-disinteresting title. Sadly, the strangest thing about this short is, well the short itself. With little narrative direction or intention, it is hard to see how this film will appeal to audiences and as such I cannot give it a star rating at all.

Opening with footage of a religious ceremony in a grand cathedral, it is clear from the outset that the film is an edited collection of home videos. There isn’t anything wrong with that in itself, but the nature of these videos and the way in which they have been edited appears incoherent with no narrative or character focus. Each clip, often from a family event in the 1990s, includes multiple figures, none of whom seem to reappear in later clips. Two or three of the clips are from Christmas gatherings, but even they show no progression in the lives of those captured on film and it is unclear if there is any link between the family members of each clip. Interspersed throughout these home videos are slow motion clips of the natural world: the sea at night time; a dog running in the snow; and some time-lapse clips too, mainly of day passing into night and back again. Whilst well composed and edited, it is again unclear what relevance these have to the sequence Kaliski has put together.

To play Devil’s Advocate, there may well be an explanation for all of this. The home footage includes dialogue, all of which is in Polish, and there are no subtitles, so it could well be that my lack of Polish language knowledge is at fault here and there are indeed links and connections that mean this short is relevant, is engaging and does have a story to tell. If this is the case, Kaliski needs to consider his wider audience and help them to engage through the addition of subtitles, or more deliberate visual connections. As it is, this film lacks any of the basic story-telling conventions audiences require to engage and as such, is just not going to be worth their time.



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