Seattle Polish Film Festival: Backwards


Poland | 2022 | 112 min. | Jarosław Barzan

October 14, 2023

Seattle Polish Film Festival

The story of the mother of an autistic boy, whose fight against bureaucracy and human heartlessness led to significant changes in the Polish education system. Inspired by real events.

SIFF year-round passes and vouchers are not valid for this screening.

1989. A young girl, Marysia, becomes pregnant with Darek, a policeman who is older than her. The man does not want a child and forces the woman to have an abortion. Despite the poor financial situation and ambitious life plans, Marysia decides to give birth, and Darek withdraws from her life. Soon after, her son is born, in whose upbringing she is supported by her older sister, Marta. It soon turns out that the boy is very different from his peers: he is strangely withdrawn and the only word he utters is "subuk". The following years pass, Marysia's son is thrown out of kindergarten, and after some time the doctors diagnose the boy has autism. Initially, Marysia does not know how to deal with this situation, and in Poland in the 1990s, no one understands this disorder. The woman also has a stubborn neighbor, Feliks, who - hearing the screams of a child in the apartment - reports to the police that she is abusing her son. Marysia, however, does not give up and decides to learn as much as possible about autism and do everything so that her son could undertake normal education. He knows that the boy is above average intelligent, but requires more attention and patience from the environment. By challenging the health service and the Polish education system, Marysia finds other mothers in a similar situation, ignored by the system. From now on, the woman will stop at nothing to achieve her goal and provide her son with social acceptance and understanding.

  • Director: Jarosław Barzan
  • Principal Cast: Małgorzata Gorol, Andrzej Seweryn, Wojciech Krupiński, Wojciech Dolatowski, Filip Pławiak, Marta Malikowska
  • Country: Poland
  • Year: 2022
  • Running Time: 112 min.
  • Language: Polish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes