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ScripTeast 2014: Exit

ScripTeast 2014-05-11
ScripTeast 2014: Exit Agnieszka Trzos, Jaroslaw Kaminski (Poland)

Your home. Your marriage. Your child. How much can you lose to find yourself?

Monika runs away in secret from her husband to the United Kingdom, leaving her 10-year-old son, Franek, in Poland. She loves her son very much and tries desperately to stay in contact with him.

She starts working for a haughty, wealthy, seventy-year-old English woman. Monika looks after her house and garden, cleans, tidies and cooks. At the same time Monika tries to emotionally regroup after escaping from a marriage based on physical violence and control. Her husband, Tomasz, claims to love her but at the same time abuses her psychologically, by undermining and belittling her. We see her relationship with her husband in flashbacks from a single day, which was pivotal for Monika’s decision to leave for England.

Monika’s relationship with her employer stops having a purely professional character and becomes something approaching friendship. When Margaret senses Monika’s emotional involvement she begins to dominate and bully her – just as Tomasz has always done. Margaret constantly accuses Monika of making mistakes and shows her displeasure, then later tries to make it up to Monika when racked by guilty feelings. This emotional see-saw psychologically exhausts Monika. She realises she cannot change her life merely by changing the country she lives in.

When Jerry, Margaret’s son, appears on the scene, Monika’s relationship with her employer become more complicated. Jerry falls in love with Monika, and Margaret becomes jealous of her. Monika, torn between her past in Poland and her intense emotional life in England, doesn’t yet feel ready to commit herself to a new relationship with Jerry.

At the same time, however, her relationships with Margaret and Jerry allow her to discover new strength and confidence inside herself and learn the skill of setting healthy boundaries.

A challenge for Monika’s new resolve appears in the form of the arrival in England of her husband and son. At first Monika is mistrustful of Tomasz and tests him out. But then she gradually lets him beguile her. He admits to his mistakes and declares that he has changed. She spends a lovely weekend with him and Franek. Tomasz is adoring of Monika, who as a result spends the night with him. Monika decides to return to her old relationship and go back to Poland. At the airport, however, Tomasz’s mask falls away and he causes a scene, humiliating Monika. Risking separation from her beloved son, who is returning to Poland with his father, Monika decides to stay in the United Kingdom.

 

Agnieszka Trzos - Director, screenwriter, producer. She graduated from Warsaw University where she studied  Journalism. Next she took up film studies at Film School in Lodz, graduating in 2000. Since 1995 she regularly worked for Polish public television, where she made a number of reportages and tv documentaries. In 2005 she made her feature debut The Tower. The film was released in Polish cinemas in 2007. Since then she directed a few drama series for television. A founder of Akili Film Production Ltd; a participant of European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs /EAVE/ and Polish Film Association.