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Spoor (Poland)

Spoor is the new movie by veteran Polish auteur and three-time Oscar nominee Agnieszka Holland. The movie is also her first cinematic venture into true crime storytelling, or what she describes as her “cross-genre thriller. An anarchistic-feminist crime story with elements of black comedy which, according to Holland,” Some critics have preferred to call Spoor “the Polish Fargo”.The movie follows a retired engineer in a remote area of Poland who starts her own investigation after finding a dead body in the woods. It’s just the first of many. All have something in common: they were involved in hunting. And there is evidence to suggest that they were killed by animals, with revenge as a possible motive.Based on Olga Tokarczuk’s 2009 novel “Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead,” Holland also wrote the screenplay together with the author.In a recent interview, the 68-year-old helmer born in Warsaw but living in Los Angeles explained that she was attracted by the message of the story and because it is an adventurous genre, something she never did before. “For me, it is a kind of experiment as a director”, she said.  It’s an experiment for a filmmaker always looking for something different since her international breakout with Europa, Europa, in which a young Jewish man from Poland conceals his identity and joins the Hitler Youth to survive the war.Holland is also known for more commercial outings like the feature adaptation of British writer Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden in 1996. More recently she has expanded her career to the television, working with David Simon on HBO in the cop drama The Wire as well as his commentary about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Treme. Holland has also directed several episodes of Netflix’s political drama House of Cards.In Holland’s eyes, Spoor is also a political tale. Perhaps not openly but the story is deeply connected with the current political climate in Poland. “The current government is deeply anti-democratic – democracy for them means total dictatorship of the majority, quite misogynistic and anti-ecology. They are passing laws not only against animals but against those who oppose hunting, too”, pondered the artist in a recent interview.Regarding the feminist aspects of this ecological thriller, Holland is very proud that Spoor features a middle-aged female protagonist. In her opinion, it’s something very important in the climate we are living in. “In this wave of women’s situation in the industry, women’s rights”, she said during the AFI screening.