SWEET RUSHOn one level, Andrzej Wajda’s film tells a story of Marta, a middle-aged woman married to a small town doctor. Marta searches for happiness in the arms of a much younger man, Boguś. Their relationship is as innocent and fresh as the smell of the sweet rush that grows in the river where Marta and Boguś swam on their first date. But, just when everything seems to be going well for them, Boguś drowns, entangled in the roots of sweet rush he was trying to pick for Marta.
Based on a short novel by one of Poland’s most acclaimed writers, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, the story could have ended at this point. But Wajda goes further by confronting fiction with reality, intertwining the fictitious story with heart-rending monologues from his main actor Krystyna Janda about the death of her real-life husband, the acclaimed cinematographer Edward Kłosiński, to whom the film is dedicated.
Wajda’s film follows a two-pronged approach. On the one hand we see the actor reconstructing the last months of her husband's life in a simple but extremely touching way and, on the other, we follow the struggles of her fictitious character, who cannot get over the death of the man with whom she was so happy. Both of them have to cope with painful experiences – the actor with the death of her husband, and her character with the additional loss of her two sons who died in the Warsaw Uprising during the Second World War. Thus, the two women, Krystyna and Marta, eventually merge to become one and the same person. Agata Harrison