Dorota Kedzierzawska continues to demonstrate her strength in directing young actors (particularly evident in the performance of the lead actor, Piotr Jagielski) that she had earlier illustrated in The Crows with her latest film I Am. Recalling Ken Loach’s Kes or Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Nobody Knows in its modern day, pseudo-Dickensian tale of instinctual survival shot from a child’s perspective, the film is a familiar story of a neglected, troubled child’s fugue, retreat into a makeshift world of his own imagined creation, and inevitable return to the “outside” world, I Am renders a less metaphoric journey for parental connection in a similarly suffused and foreboding vein of Andrei Zvyagintsev’s Return). However, while Kedzierzawska’s execution is impeccable and remarkably adept, the film, nevertheless, retains an oddly sterile conventionality to its manner of storytelling, an impression that is further reinforced by composer Michael Nyman’s swelling and overwrought (if not patently manipulative) soundtrack that suffuses each dramatic scene with an inconguent, near-mythic sense of tragedy.
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