An artist’s life saved by art

A woman once walked into a pharmacy and started chatting to the pharmacist behind the counter. They were both Polish and, as they later found out, both painters so they kicked it right off.
The woman returned to that pharmacist with a book and a few months later the pharmacist decided to return the book. So she rang up the lady and went to meet her in her house.

„It’s completely packed full of paintings,” my wife told me „It’s like walking into a gallery, you should see that, it’s amazing! Anyway, she would like someone to make a short film about her so she has something to leave for her children so I invited her to the premiere of your film to see if she likes your style.”
„So she’s coming to see The Pitch next month?”

Come March and the Premiere of The Pitch Malgorzata really came to our premiere. She watched the film and after it ended she came to me and said „I really liked it! Ours is going to be just as good except with much less f*cking.”
(You might want to watch The Pitch to know what she’s referring to)
„We’ll do it in June when my garden is blooming and the days are longer and sunny.”

So we did. I brought my Sony DSLR camera with a single zoom lens, my clip-on microphone that you hook up to your phone, my one LED light and a light reflector.
We shot three hours of her interview in the first day, one part of her art showcasing the second and the rest the third.
We had rivers of tea and coffee while shooting and her home-baked cakes kept us up.

I haven’t met many people like Malgorzata in my life if anyone at all. At 83 her mind is so sharp and lucid, her thoughts are collected and her ideas crazy and revolutionary. To be talking about sex, religion, art, politics, life and personal development with a person so openly and relaxed is truly a rarity. She listens to you, acknowledges you and inspires you at the same time. After everything that’s happened to her in her life she still managed to keep this childish curiosity and the ability to give every idea a chance no matter how crazy it may seem at first.
We are still friends and whenever we visit her she is so happy to show her works and talk about new things she’s tried and show us her ‚toys’. 

A year after the shoot me and my wife got married and she gave us one of her triptychs as a wedding present along with the best advice anyone ever told us:
„You are now guardians of each other’s freedom.”
And so we are.

The documentary has so far been selected to three film festivals, two of which awarded it with „best documentary” title.
I am immensely proud of this film although I feel as I was only holding the camera and cutting the pieces together. It also show you don’t need expensive equipment and a massive crew to capture audience’s attention. All it takes is a hell of a good story. And a story that’s taken a lifetime to write itself is as good as they get.