A co-production of Poland and Belgium, the short film Siemiany tells the story of the growing up experience of two adolescent boys – in particular their sexual awaking. The frequent usage of hand-held cameras and the addition of seemingly isolated scenes (in which various characters directly address the viewer), give the film an almost documentary feel.
The dialogue between Andrzej and Micha, the two young protagonists in the film, may shock some of the more conservative audience. Director Philip James McGoldrick (who also wrote the story) opted for a genuine portrayal of conversations between two kids on the edge of puberty — with little or no censorship applied. The result is a further boost to the realism and frankness of the story.
Sexual awakening, friendship, peer pressure, first love and disappointments are a few of the issues addressed in Siemiany. The story is rather ambiguous and can be interpreted differently by different viewers. Some may argue that the movie can be considered as a “Coming Out”, as suggested by its IMDb description, which describes the friendship between Andrzej and Micha as being taken to “a new level of sexually loaded intimacy”. Having seen the film, I find that description largely inaccurate.
I recognized one familiar name in the cast of Siemiany – namely Damian Ul who delivered such a charming and memorable performance as Stefek in the 2007 Polish film Sztuczki (Tricks). He certainly has talent and it’s disappointing that since he was cast in Siemianly the only thing he has appeared in (and just periodically at that), is a series on Polish television.
Although I generally liked the film, its story failed to move me — largely attributable to its ambiguity.
Siemiany (2009) Trailer