Director: Maria Sadowska
Writer: Krzysztof Rak, Blazej Dzikowski, Krzysztof Bernas, Dominika Hilszczanska
Based on: Violetta Ozminkowski’s novel Michalina Wislocka. Sztuka kochania gorszycielki
Cast: Magdalena Boczarska, Piotr Adamczyk, Eryk Lubos, Dorota Kolak, Justyna Wasilewska, Danuta Stenka, Jasmina Polak
Part of: FrauenFilmTage
Seen on: 3.3.2018
Michalina Wislocka (Magdalena Boczarska) is a gynaecologist and in her practice, she has seen a lot of problems, a lot of which stem from a lack of knowledge. So she decides to publish a sex education book. But that’s easier said than done in communist Poland, especially with a book that is both frank, includes graphics and focus on female lust and orgasms. But Michalina is a fighter and she won’t take no for an answer.
The Art of Loving is political, feminist and incredibly funny, staying emotionally with its characers while making its points in the most charming way.
I hadn’t heard about Wislocka before this film but she must have been amazing woman. Not only in her fight for her book, but she also had an extraordinary private life (at least as the film portrays it), with a polyamorous relationship (that ends badly, as these relationships in film invariably seem to end) and a sweet and incredibly sad love story that moved my almost entirely aromantic heart.
Boczarska gives an incredible performance. She’s in almost every frame of the film and has to cover a very long lifespan and she carries the film with such ease, managing to be funny, emotional and passionate all at once. She really is fantastic.
The film is very entertaining, but that doesn’t cover up its intensely political core. And I am all here to appreciate a film that is feminist as a matter of course. We don’t have enough of those. Its sex positivity does leave no room for asexual people, which is unfortunately what usually happens when that’s the focus. But if you can accept that, there is little to squabble with here.
I was really taken by surprise by how much I loved The Art of Loving – and by how much it made me laugh. But those are the kinds of surprises I go to film festivals for.