On Friday, April 7, Polish director Michal Marczak (“At the Edge of Russia”) released “All These Sleepless Nights,” an experimental film that derails genre, walking the line between a fictional coming-of-age drama and a nonfiction documentary. The purpose, however, warrants no ambiguity. Through the bleary streets of Warsaw, Poland, the film trails behind a ring of young adults as they fiercely resist the fall of their youth.
The three main characters, Krzysztof Baginski, Eva Lebuef and Micha? Huszcza, who were already friends before the film, are not actors. They consider themselves artists, but not performers. Their authentic relationships and their inexperience in the acting business are a few of the reasons Marczak was drawn to them during his year or so long period of perusing bars in Warsaw and asking strangers if they’d like to do a movie with him. The director sought the young and fatalistic kids who already lived their lives as if they were being filmed, experiencing everything to the extreme.
While some events most likely would not have occurred in their lives had there not been a camera lingering behind them, “All These Sleepless Nights” exists in environments that the three friends lived within before the film. They go to parties, wander the city streets at four in the morning, laugh, smoke and dance while Marczak orbits each moment with his kaleidoscopic lens.
This film takes many chances, disregarding plot structures and moving boldly between performance and documentation. A director who plays with truth or blurs reality risks reluctance and confusion from the audience. “All These Sleepless Nights” is made successful by the substance of those on the screen. The organic intentions of the “characters” combine with Marczak’s ephemeral, restless aesthetic to create one of the most honest film depictions of youthful longing.
“All These Sleepless Nights” is playing at the Mayan theatre, but hurry and see it soon because it will only be here this week.