"Bandits": a German actor in a Polish movie?  It was a scandal!

The main character of the movie “Mugger” He is Brute (Til Schweiger), who was sent to a children’s hospital in Romania as part of rehabilitation, run by the head of Sincaia (Pete Postlehwaite). It turns out that he goes to the vestibule of Hell. Almost every day, a hospital trolley takes a coffin with the body of a deceased child. Nurse Mara (Polly Walker) does her best to allay her petty accusations of her ordeal. Surgeon Babbits (John Hurt), forced to perform his duties in horrific conditions and often helpless in the face of death, is plunged into stress by alcohol. Brutalism comes face to face with a frightening truth: The children’s only salvation is being sold to foster families in the West. The money obtained in this way allows the remaining patients in the hospital to survive.

Meanwhile, Elena (Ida Jaboska), a sick gypsy girl, falls in love with the protagonist. The girl has no chance of survival, all you can do for her is pretend to love her. Brute, submitting to Mary’s persuasion, takes this game, which is no longer a game over time. The thieves are also indifferent to the fate of two boys – Yorgo (Vojic Brzezinsky) and Moscow (Partek Benichik). He himself slowly becomes a different person. He does not take the opportunity to return home – not by force, but by choice, he decides to deal with the evil that devours the hospital, especially since this place is also a transfer point for weapons smuggling. This forgotten corner of the world, like many similar places in this part of Europe, is saturated with a tangle of tragic ironies. One relates directly to the hero: if Pruitt kills a man using illegal methods to maintain a hospital, he will condemn this “clinic” and its patients to death, but he has to make the hardest choice of his life.

“For Brut (…), who ended up in a Roman hospital straight out of an English prison, freedom comes out of the box. He has 16 robberies, 28 robberies and 31 hits to his credit and not many things can surprise him so far. However, He is shocked. He did not even suspect that a hospital might look like that. (…). In the hospital, the children just don’t have luxury things. They have nothing to eat, what to wear, what to wash with. The medical staff has nothing to treat them. Brut began Slowly he realizes that freedom can consist in taking responsibility for the suffering of others, the weakest of them,” Manana Chip wrote in a reportage from the “Bandits” collection in “The Movie” monthly.

With a budget of $2 million, “Bandit” was the most expensive Heritage Films production by Lew Rywin, and the most expensive Polish film until the premiere of Jerzy Hoffman’s “With Fire and Sword.”

The main role was played by a German actor Til Schweiger. Director Maciej Dejczer He admitted that he did not know the achievements of the Germans before. “I’ve only seen one of his films – Mannenrpension.” […] He had major concerns, and so did I. German Actor in a Polish Movie Who Speaks in English – I Risked. Thanks to this, the German producer financed the other actors ”- the director of“ Bandita ”speaks in an interview with“ Film Business ” magazine.

Notable British actors also appeared in “Bandit”. Postlethwaite House (“In the Name of the Father,” “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”). We will see the role of the chief doctor John Hurt (“Alien – Nostromo the Eighth Traveler”, “Elephant Man”). The nurse is played by a rising British star Polly Walker (“Sliver”, “Emma”). Three main child roles were assigned to the young novices from Poland: Ida Jabłońska, Bartek Pieniążek and Wojciech Brzeziński, selected through a careful selection that lasted nearly two years.

The shooting of “Bandit” lasted from April 21 to June 15, 1996. They were mainly filmed in two wards of the Wolski Hospital in Warsaw, which was closed for five years. For four days, the crew remained in Great Britain, where the scene of the protagonist’s conditional release from prison was created, and the opening sequences taking place in the Roman Carpathians had to be filmed in the Bieszczady Mountains, in Połonina Wetlińska near Komańcza. Kw, it was first used in Poland. Also the first Polish movie with Dolby Digital sound.

Maciej Dejczer, who made his debut with “300 Miles to Heaven”, admitted he wanted to combine commercial ambitions with the artistic sensibility of cinema.

“Advertising is something that sells and people want to see. If someone wanted to find what they were looking for in images like Rambo or Rocky in my movie, they would be a little disappointed. It would be a very sensitive movie. I would like viewers to watch this movie with interest, because it will find something for them.” “Something to make them laugh, something to surprise them. They won’t get bored. I don’t shy away from the word commercial, but I’m primarily interested in art cinema, like this movie. Cesari Harasimovich wrote a very dramatic script. Please imagine an Englishman in Romania, where everything is alien to him.” After a while, he slowly began to enter this world, and then intervened in it enough to change and saw Hell and stopped there .. He was afraid – Digger said in an interview with the magazine “Cinema”.

In another conversation, he explained why the movie was shot in 1991 in Romania.

“This is a movie about the collapse of a certain world. One system has collapsed, the other is not yet formed. A gap has arisen. That is why we set up the movement in 1991 in Romania. Times of the great unknown. It seems that something is over for good, and there is another person at the head of governments. , and he decides about economics and politics, and in fact old habits dominate. New people make the headlines, and old laws are on the sidelines. Our hospital is somewhere far in the world, forgotten by everyone. Because who cares about the abandoned gypsy children that no one can tell you about ?You can practically do anything with them. It seems that we live in a free world, and yet we are trapped, he said in an interview with “Film”.

Writing the script for “The Thieves” Cesare Harasimovicawarded at the Gdynia Festival, was based on an authentic event.

“This story was inspired by a photo I came across in the newspaper. In this photo, an English criminal holds in his hands a dying Romanian child. It turns out that the English in the early 1990s invented a way to rehabilitate notorious criminals by sending them to horribly destroyed Romanian hospitals. I began to collect The documentation for this program, and I learned about the adoption methods that were used there. However, the film is not a documentary reflection of a story. In fact, in most of my scenarios, this was the case, for example, in “300 Miles to Heaven”, Which I wrote with Maciek Dejczer, where a fictional story is built on the basis of a real event,” Harasimowicz told Cinema Magazine.

The screenwriter of “The Thieves” described the main character as “a man without an identity with the soul of a deformed animal.”

“The Thieves” tells of a man without identity, half Polish, half English, who has the soul of a deformed animal and who goes to Romania as part of this rehabilitation programme. There is a confrontation with this extreme reality of the Romanian Children’s Hospital immediately. Children have no chance of surviving, they die. There is a clear evil evil with which Brut starts to fight. He also finds love, and all this makes him learn his humanity all over again. He said in an interview with “Cinema” magazine.

He added that “Bandita” is on the one hand an action movie, and on the other – a love story. “The main character must pretend to love a dying little girl. Thanks to this he learns again how to feel, and learns to love at all. The situation becomes more complicated, in fact, Pruitt is in love with the nurse, played by Polly Walker, who persuades him to pretend With this feeling. The ending is very bitter, and I will not betray it, but there is some hope ”- summed up Harasimowicz.

Bandit turned out to be one of the winners at the 1997 Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. In addition to the award for best screenplay (Cezary Harasimowicz), music (Michał Lorenc) and sound (Piotr Knop, Aleksander Gołębiowski and Mariusz Kuczyński) were also honored. The Best Actor award went to Til Schweiger.

It was the Favorite Brick Award for the main acting award Cesare Bazora, which brought as many as 4 films to Gdynia – “Keller”, “Sztos”, “Sarah” and “Happy New York”. The jury’s decision to award German actor Til Schweiger an outcry from the film community.

Screenwriter of “Bandita” Cesari Harasimovich recalls that many actors left Gdynia in protest.

The German actor did not attend the award ceremony. Calling the decision to award Schweiger “another humorous decision by the jury in the history of the festival”, Keller director Julius Macholsky admitted that to this day he is unsure whether the German actor knows he ever received the award in Gdynia.

“No comment. All Gdynia” – summed up the verdict of Cesare Bazura. “I congratulate Mr. Krzysztof Krauze, a member of the jury, who – for some reason – thought that even if I deserved the award, he would not give it to me” – the actor did not hide his regret.

As revealed by Bandita’s director, Macej Digixir, Til Schweiger Donate the prize fee to an orphanage. However, it is not known whether it was a Polish or German publication.

The confusion adds to the fact that one of “Bandita’s” producers, Le Reuen, was the patron of this version of the festival. The head of Canal + TV saved the flood-year event with financial support.

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