Director: Andrzej Jakimowski (Poland – 2007)
Recalling the ease with which Emir Kusturica once located poetry in the everyday, director Andrzej Jakimowski taps into his own childhood for this engaging and warmly authentic coming-of-age movie that avoids mawkish sentimentality.
Unfolding over one summer in a sleepy Polish town, ‘Tricks’ follows six-year-old Stefek (Damian Ul) who wanders the streets observing the courting rituals of his sister Elka (Ewelina Walendziak) and the local mechanic, falls for the town tart, and grows ever more convinced the commuter at the town station is their estranged father. Using Elka’s talent for tempting fate in her favour, Stefek orchestrates a series of events that might change their luck.
Painted in broad strokes of magical realism, the film finds wonder in a sunbathing trip to the lake or an endlessly circling flock of pigeons. This is skilful filmmaking that feels utterly effortless. A minor gem.
Time Out (London) – Issue 2089 – 15th September 2010 -68