The Celebration


Alexandra Wesolowski | Germany | 2017 | 1:15:00


The family party that unveils long-forgotten family secrets is a frequent plot twist in fiction cinema. This film seduces the cinephile memory almost to the point of labelling it as fiction, while remaining a masterful exercise in documentary observation. The Celebration follows a Polish family as they prepare for a carefully choreographed anniversary. Under the skin of this family lie questions and prejudices which testify to larger and more complex tensions confronting Poland today. The visit of a niece relocated to Germany triggers a wealth of only apparently benign questions which linger unnervingly, as conversations about nail varnish or home-cooked food descend into arguments about abortion, Islam, or the uses of European Union. For anybody who after a family dinner has vowed never again to discuss politics at the table, this film is a must.

Julian Anselmino