113 mins, Poland-Czech Republic-Italy, 2021, Digital. F-Rated.

A privileged Polish couple’s relationship gradually disintegrates during a fraught Italian vacation in Aga Woszczyńska’s richly observed feature debut. On arrival to the idyllic coastal town, Adam (Dobromir Dymecki) and Anna (Agnieszka Zulewska) notice that the swimming pool at their rental is empty. Their Italian host sends over a migrant worker to fix the situation, who suffers a terrible accident. With their holiday now at risk and the small town’s police sniffing around, this bourgeois couple must test the strength of their own principles. From the first scenes, Woszczyńska establishes an atmosphere of dread, summoning the moods of Antonioni and Haneke and channelling them through her own dispassionate perspective on human frailty. In understated scenes that build to devastating effect, Woszczyńska offers an unblinking gaze at the small steps leading downward to moral collapse.

Notes by David O’Mahony

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