WILKOŁAK

Poland, Germany, The Netherlands

Synopsis

Summer, 1945: Eight children from the Gross Rosen concentration camp find a provisional hiding place in an abandoned orphanage nearby, lost among forests. It seems that after the horrors of the war, feral children may come back to normal life. All of a sudden, the idyllic atmosphere of peace and quietness is interrupted. The nightmare returns. In the surrounding forests, wolfhounds are circling. The dogs were released by SS officers before the liberation of Gross Rosen camp. Wolfhounds - taught and used to kill prisoners - surround the young heroes in the orphanage. All attempts of escaping the place are failing. Without any food and water, the children fall into madness and wilderness once again. But the real danger lurks inside the palace.

Directors Statement

The strength lays in truthfulness. Every element of the story really happened, although today it looks like a dark fairy tale.
A werewolf is a creature between a human and an animal. I think that the period after 1945 in Poland was a bit like that. An evil was defined by simple, animalistic gestures, and people reduced all their existence to the struggle for life. On the other hand, the word ”werewolf” recalls pure horror, but it doesn’t disturb me at all. I liked the idea that previously I made a film about the Messiah and now I am shooting a film about the Werewolf. These are two different ways of thinking about humanity and I am happy to approach the subject from this other side this time.
We are doomed to our animalistic nature. We grew up from the nature that is cruel and reminds concentration camp itself. Culture is negation of the fact that we are animals, because it is built to escape from animalistic side of our identity. But sometimes something happens and everything disintegrates completely.

Director's Biography

Adrian Panek was born in 1975. He studied Architecture at the Wrocław University of Science and Technology. He is also a graduate of Krzysztof Kieślowski Faculty of Radio and Television at the University of Silesia and Wajda School. He directed many short films, including THE PASSION OF MARIAN (2006) and MY POOR HEAD (2009), and numerous music videos as well as commercials. In 2011 he made his feature debut DAAS with Andrzej Chyra, Mariusz Bonaszewski and Olgierd Łukaszewicz in the leading roles. The film was named the best Polish first feature of 2011.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Adrian Panek

Written by: Adrian Panek

Produced by: Magdalena Kaminska, Agata Szymanska

Cinematography: Dominik Danilczyk

Editing: Jaroslaw Kaminski PSM

Production Design: Anna Wunderlich

Costume Design: Malgorzata Karpiuk

Hair & Make-up: Dariusz Krysiak

Original Score: Antoni Komasa-Łazarkiewicz

Sound: Wart Wamsteker

Main Cast: Nicolas Przygoda (Hanys), Kamil Polnisiak (Władek), Sonia Mietielica (Hanka)

Nominations and Awards

  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2019