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Junior Ciné
Barosz M. Kowalski

(Plac zabaw)

Poland 2016

In Polish with English subtitles

81 min

For audiences aged 16 and above

The eponymous location is most definitely of the devil's variety in Bartosz M Kowalski's cumulatively harrowing Polish ordeal-by-cinema Playground (Plac zbaw). Adopting the by-now familiar template of Gus Van Sant's Elephant to fictionalize the murder of 3-year-old James Bulger at the hands of two 10-year-old boys in 1993 Liverpool, it's a necessarily unpleasant and ultimately horrible experience which will certainly leave no viewer indifferent.

Building steadily to a hideous, protracted finale which sent several dozen spectators fleeing for the exits during the world premiere at San Sebastian - where the film contends for the Golden Shell - this is one of the year's most savagely polarizing titles. Further festival exposure is a given for a picture seemingly tailor-made, one might even say calculated, to spark vociferous post-screening debate.
Neil Young / The Hollywood Reporter
Playground DIRECTOR

Director: Barosz M. Kowalski

Barosz M. Kowalski (born in 1984) is a Polish director who has among many things written and directed two award-winning TV films for HBO Europe. Controversial Playgroud is Kowalski's first full-length feature film to appear on the big screen.

Screenplay: Bartosz M. Kowalski & Stanisław Warwas
Cast: Michalina Świstuń, Nicolas Przygoda, Przemysław Baliński, Patryk Świdersk
Production: Dariusz Pietrykowski, Andrzej Połeć, Mirella Zaradkiewicz, Feliks Pastusiak / Film It
Sales: Latido Films