104 minutes, Poland, 2015, Subtitled, Digital

This film screened on Saturday 5th December 2015.

Benek (Tomasz Schuchardt), suffering from depression and entertaining thoughts of suicide, meets the vivacious Lena (Agnieszka Żulewska, outstanding), whose free-spirited embrace of life turns him around; suddenly, the future seems bright. However, Lena’s attitude is revealed to be inspired by her cancer, for which she has decided not to undergo treatment. This resolve is pushed to the background when she unexpectedly falls pregnant. Drawn from the experience of first-time director Bartosz Prokopowicz, whose own wife was killed by the disease, Chemo is undeniably moving in its depiction of Lena’s decline, but it determinedly avoids the maudlin, instead celebrating the couple’s love.

Showing as part of IFI & Kinopolis Polish Film Festival (3rd-6th December). For more details see the festival homepage.

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