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|Barosz M. Kowalski
In Polish with English subtitles
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
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