Blood vengeance in modern Poland: two warring families have been in conflict for generations, one in which all mechanisms of violence have long been normalised. Dystopian relics from a comfort zone whose inhabitants forego their freedom through clan-like behaviour and a withdrawal into isolation. Here carrying firearms is seen as equally natural to carrying smartphones.
A residential area on the outskirts of the city, the single-family houses with their well-tended front gardens convey bourgeois prosperity. In the nearby forest a young woman has just killed the eldest son of the opposing clan and is celebrated at home for an act of revenge carried out according to the old Kanun. From now on, however, the young woman has to fear retaliation by the daughter of the rival family. When the two women, still teenagers, finally come to face to face after a night-time chase, they together make a pact according to which they will no longer abide by their families' code of honour. Director Piotr Adamski places the principle of blood vengeance directly in the middle of European civilisation. Alongside the Western influences his themes draw on other genre films that likewise revolve around idiosyncratic heroines and with whom EASTERN shares an emancipatory concern. Breaking out of the vicious circle of violence and counter-violence is only possible for those involved with the courage of despair. KS
Piotr Adamski, Michał Grochowiak
Agata Lepacka, Ewa Solecka
Maja Pankiewicz, Paulina Krzyżańska, Marcin Czarnik, Anna Kłos, Edyta Torhan, Bartłomiej Krat, Tomasz Sobczak, Bruno Tomczyk, Magdalena Kuta, Tadeusz Bradecki