The Secret

Sekret, 2012, 82 min.

The Secret (2012)
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Production
Director Przemyslaw Wojcieszek
Screenplay Przemyslaw Wojcieszek
Cinamatography Kuba Kijowski
Music Krzysztof Pretkiewicz
Production Designer Milena Czarnik
Choreography Premyslaw Juszkiewicz
Producer Katarzyna Majewska

Cast

Ksawery Tomasz Tyndyk
Karolina Agnieszka Podsiadlik
Jan, Ksawery’s Grandfather Marek Kepinski
Story

Ksawery and Karolina are visiting Jan in the country. Ksawery is a dancer who performs as a drag queen and Karolina is his agent. Jan is Ksawery’s grandfather. Ksawery is gay, Karolina Jewish. Jan is guarding a dark secret from the time of the Holocaust.

At first glance, this seems like an almost quintessential grouping for a story about history, a story about perpetrators and victims. However, it is not that simple.

Identity here is composed of different layers that do not always harmonize with background and allegiance. As such, Jan’s love for his grandson is in conflict with his urge to find out what happened in the past. The film draws on a suitably heterogeneous range of visual and narrative devices to express the disparate nature of the relationships among the three protagonists, and the different mosaic tiles from which their identities are formed: tenderness alongside violence, almost casual normality alongside extreme artificiality. Ksawery says at one point “I’m a corpse, I’m dead on the inside”. The Secret taps into the seams of our identity that are passed on by preceding generations, a process that can hurt but also heal.