Poland, Sweden


Set against the landscape of the Polish transformation from communism to capitalism, WOMAN OF... spans 45 years of the life of Aniela Wesoły, who lives more than half of her adult life in a provincial Polish town as a man. Aniela's journey to find personal liberty as a trans woman reveals hardships in marriage and parenthood, strained family relations and complicated attitudes in her environment, which constantly place her in impossible situations. What choices will Aniela have to make? Will she be ready to sacrifice all to become who she truly is?

Director's Statement

WOMAN OF... is a truly important film for us, the result of many years of work, countless meetings with transgender people - people of all ages who have lived in Poland for decades, who have graciously trusted us to share their stories.
Aniela - who for almost a half of her life lived as a man in a provincial town, making her laborious journey to freedom - seemed symbolic to us, becoming a metaphor for the transition of Poland, reflecting a society that had once before come together in solidarity to bring down the communist regime. That society now stands for a polarisation of attitudes, unwilling to accept beliefs which have long become a social norm in other parts of the world.
The title of our film is a deliberate reference to our Master - Andrzej Wajda (Man of Iron, Man of Marble). At this time when cinema is being replaced by content, we felt the strong need to tell Aniela's unique story, asking questions and referencing classic traits of the genre in its form.
WOMAN OF... stars many people who are transgender, who play the roles of both trans and cis characters. The production team was comprised of many people from the LGBTQ+ community. We hope that our film will help people understand what it means to be trans and increase support for amendments in the law which will guarantee a life without threat.
Our film does not judge any of the attitudes presented. The most significant element is the humanistic tone within the poignant story of our main characters, respectfully followed by our camera.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert

Written by: Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert

Main Producer: Michael Englert

Produced by: Klaudia Smieja-Rostworowska, Bogna Szewczyk-Skupien, Katarzyna Jordan-Kulczyk, Gregory Jankilevitsch, Malgorzala Szumowska, Kristina Börjeson, Jonas Kellagher

Cinematography: Michal Englert

Editing: Jaroslaw Kaminski

Production Design: Marek Zawierucha

Costume Design: Anna Englert

Make-Up & Hair: Waldemar Pokromski, Monika Kaleta

Original Score: Jimek

Sound: Marcin Jachyra, Kacper Habisiak, Marcin Kasinski

Casting: Magdalena Szwarcbart

Cast: Malgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik (Aniela Wesoły), Joanna Kulig (Iza), Mateusz Wieclawek (young Aniela Wesoły), Bogumila Bajor (Young Iza)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2023