"I am very glad to present Sweet Rush at the Berlinale," Wajda said. "It has always been a very important festival for me as it is the place, when East meets with the West." Sweet Rush is partly based on a short story by Polish writer Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz about a middle-aged woman physician in a small town who has an affair with a young man. They spend time at the shores of a river, where the sweet rush grows, but their happiness comes to an end when the young man drowns. Wajda previously made three films based on Iwaszkiewicz's stories: The Birch Wood, The Girl from Wilko, and the TV movie Noc czerwcowa (July Night). Wajda intertwines the story with the monologues of Polish actress Krystyna Janda, speaking about the death of her husband, cinematographer Edward Kłosiński. "I suspected that Krystyna had been living alone with her private thoughts quite long enough," Wajda said. "But she wanted to tell her story in the film." The result is a deeply moving film about death, sorrow, and farewells to loved ones. The budget was PLN 6.5 million zlotys (€1.4 million) with PLN 2.6 million from the Polish Film Institute. Sweet Rush was produced by Akson Studio in cooperation with Agencja Media Plus. Costume design was by European Film Academy winner Magdalena Biedrzycka. The cinematographer is Award Academy nominee Paweł Edelman. Music was by the heralded young Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn.
Interest in the film was already strong before its world premiere. Les Films du Losange have inked a deal in Berlin for world rights to the film in all territories ouside of Poland. The film will be released in France theatrically later this year.
Competition: World Premier Feb 13, 22:30, Berlinale Palast. Feb 14, 9:30 and 20:30, Friedrichstadtpalast. Feb 14, 20:00, Urania. For more information, see the Central European Cinema Stand (No. 128, Martin-Gropious-Bau) at the European Film Market.