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33 Scenes From Life

Dark drama studded with pitch black comedy from Małgorzata Szumowska (Mug, The Other Lamb, Never Gonna Snow Again), about a successful photographer whose life unravels spectacularly.

Drama 2008 95 mins Not rated

Director: Małgorzata Szumowska


Set in Cologne and featuring a pan European cast (including Poland’s Maciej Stuhr) 33 Scenes from Life confirmed Małgorzata Szumowska (Mug, The Other Lamb) as talent to watch on the international festival scene. It won the Special Jury Prize at Locarno 2008 and gathered further awards in Poland for best film, editing and music. Successful photographer Julia spins from laughter to deep grief in this entirely true-to-life drama. Previously secure as a daughter and wife, she struggles to cope as her world turns upside down when her mother becomes ill.

Reflecting the moments of black comedy that so often arise in tragic situations, the film realistically navigates her emotional trauma, showing her grow in maturity along the way. Her now regular collaborator Michał Englert’s sophisticated camerawork also won awards, (he co-directed her 2020 success Never Gonna Snow Again) painting the temperature of each scene across the arc from optimism to despair.