Life Feels Good
June 14, 2014
Poland | 2013 | 107 minutes | Maciej Pieprzyca
2014 Golden Space Needle Award: Best Actor (Dawid Ogrodnik) | Heartbreaking and humorous, Life Feels Good has thrilled international audiences with virtuosic acting from Dawid Ogrodnik as Mateusz, a romantic, good-natured man with cerebral palsy who yearns to be understood by his family and friends. Based on a true story, this award-winning film is a testament to the endurance of the human spirit.
Heartbreaking and humorous, Life Feels Good has thrilled international audiences and swept the Polish Film Awards with virtuosic acting from Dawid Ogrodnik as Mateusz, a romantic, good-natured man with cerebral palsy who yearns to be understood by his family and friends. As he’s grown up, doctors and experts have considered Mateusz a ‘vegetable’ with little capacity for communication—and in doing so, disregarded his rich personality and emotional life. Based on a true story, Life Feels Good is a winning testament to the endurance of the human spirit. Ogrodnik (also in SIFF 2014’s Ida) performs Mateusz with astute brilliance as he grows into a man in 1980s Poland, a cultural climate rife with discrimination. As Mateusz meets his challenges head-on—like devising an ingenious, agile way to move around his home—Ogrodnik’s empathetic portrayal is totally convincing. His family go through a range of emotions as they try to overcome their frustrations with naysaying clinical and institutional specialists. Mateusz has a breakthrough after meeting a teacher of Bliss language, a popular method to help engender nonverbal communication. Their collaboration revolutionizes Mateusz’s life. This award-winning film miraculously underscores the vital importance of being heard and understood.
Born in 1964 in Katowice (Poland), Pieprzyca graduated from the Political Sciences and Journalism Dept. of the Silesian University, Scriptwriting Dept. of the State Film School in Łódź and the Directing Dept. of the State Film School in Katowice. In 2008 he debuted with Splinters, which brought him positive reviews and prizes at the international film festivals in Cairo and Houston. Life Feels Good is his second feature.
|Principal Cast:||Dawid Ogrodnik, Kamil Tkacz, Katarzyna Zawadzka|
|Running Time:||107 minutes|
|Awards:||Polish Film Awards 2014 (Audience Award, Best Actor, Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress); Cleveland International Film Festival 2014 (Jury Prize), Gdynia Film Festival 2013 (Jury Prize, Audience Award); Montréal World Film Festival 2013 (Audience Award, Grand Prix des Americas, Ecumenical Prize); Chicago International Film Festival 2013 (Audience Award)|