Obce niebo

2015

Synopsis

The story of heaven turning into hell: Basia and Marek are a young couple of immigrants in Sweden. One innocent lie triggers an avalanche. The daughter is being placed with a foster family by social services. The daughter’s love for her mother is put to the test. Both parents must face the power of the modern state. Everyone claims high moral or legal grounds but emotional hell breaks loose. Facing this nightmare, Basia and Marek undertake a dramatic fight to get their daughter back.
How far will they go to reclaim their humanity?

Directors Statement

Every one of us, everywhere, strives for perfection. We are subject to the delusion that we can be ideal beings. We receive the reckoning for our delusions and the more they have sprung from our egoism and ignorance, the higher the bill.
I come from Poland. I was born in a country that paid an enormous price for the great social experiment which was the building of communism. How well I understand the old saying ”The road to hell is paved with good intentions”!
STRANGE HEAVEN is a story about freedom. Even if we are unaware of it, freedom is as necessary to us as air. Our accelerated, dissipate world needs to re-define freedom. Being free is very tough. All too often, we are incapable of succeeding to be free. All too often, our circumstances strip us of freedom.
Thematically, STRANGE HEAVEN is a social drama, but conceptually, the story is a divergence from the schematics of social cinema. From the dramaturgical point of view, it is a thriller.
The tension keeps building until the very end of the film.
The protagonists’ emotions are commensurate to the stakes they are playing for … the highest possible for a human being. What they are fighting for is their humanity.
Both the Polish and the Swedish family find a way to salvage their freedom. They learn how mighty a force is love. The screenplay emerged from the documentation of several similar stories which actually occurred in the real world.
I made this film to raise a question: How should an individual defend its humanity against an omnipotent state. I wonder what your answer would be.

Biography

Dariusz Gajewski is a film director, screenwriter and producer.
After graduating from Lodz Film School, he directed numerous documentaries, including THE CONVOY (KONWÓJ, awarded at the Krakow Film Festival in 1999).
In 2003 his professional feature debut WARSZAWA was awarded with numerous awards in Polish and international competitions (Grand Prix, Best Director, Best Screenplay and many other prizes at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, Special Jury Award in Svietlogorsk FF in 2005 and many more). WARSZAWA was screened at 27 film festivals around the world.
In 2008 he has directed the Polish-Austrian co-production MR. KUKA’S ADVICE. In 2008 he was also elected Programming Director of the Warsaw Munk Studio, where he has produced two feature films: FEAR OF FALLING (2012), WOMEN’s DAY (2012) and also over 100 shorts that have won festivals all over the world.

Filmography
2015 - STRANGE HEAVEN (OBCE NIEBO)
2008 - MR. KUKA’S ADVICE (LEKCJE PANA KUKI)
2003 - WARSAW (WARSZAWA)
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Cast & Crew

Directed by : Dariusz Gajewski

Written by : Dariusz Gajewski, Michal Godzic

Produced by : Kuba Kosma, Dariusz Gajewski

Director of Photography : Monika Lenczewska

Editor : Grazyna Gradon

Production Design : Joanna Macha

Costume Design : Lotta Petersson, Beata Nyczaj

Hair & Make up Artist : Olga Nejbauer

Composer : Marcin Masecki, Candelaria Saenz Valiente

Sound Design : Sebastian Witkowski, Mateusz Adamczyk

Main Cast : Barbara Kubiak (Ula), Ewa Fröling (Anita), Agnieszka Grochowska (Basia), Bartlomiej Topa (Marek)

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2016