'Cinema here is so big'

'Cinema here is so big'

Director Extraordinaire

'Cinema here is so big'

She may have taken a decade-long break to dabble in theatre, but the call of cinema proved to be too strong, and she staged a dramatic return with her latest film, ‘In the Name of the Devil’.

Barbara was in the City as a part of the Bengaluru International Film Festival, Metrolife caught up with her to find out more about her movies and experiences here.

Her film ‘In the Name of the Devil’, which is to be screened as a part of the festival, is a poignant and gritty portrayal of a group of nuns who live in a small town near Warsaw.

“They live in a convent with their Mother Superior, and then they decide to cut all connections with the Catholic Church. The Mother Superior invites a mysterious Frenchman to the convent, and they decide to practice a new way of praying to God,” explains Barbara.

This film is interesting for two reasons. Barbara elaborates, “It’s not just about religion. On one hand, I’ve always been interested in characters of this particular age group — between 20 and 22 years old, because this is when young men and women make choices for their future.

They may not be prepared for such choices, and it could lead to tragedy. Also, it deals with the mechanics of manipulation. In this century, all of us are manipulated by television, radio and the government.”

This is Barbara’s first visit to India, let alone Bangalore, and she says that although her schedule’s been quite hectic, she’s enjoying her time here. “I haven’t been around much of the City, because I spend all my time travelling from my hotel to the cinema theatre. So whatever I’ve seen of Bangalore has been through the window of my car,” she laughs.

She also admits that the traffic has been a huge impediment in terms of getting around to see a bit of the City. “I’m scared to walk about on my own because of the traffic,” she admits, adding, “I can’t even cross the streets sometimes. The other day I was trying to do so, and was standing on the pavement for about half an hour before someone took my hand and helped me cross the road. That’s the nice thing about this City — people really want to be helpful, and that’s very nice.”

She’s had very limited exposure to the work of Indian film-makers, but she says that what strikes her the most about the industry is its gigantic scale. “I’ve seen only one Indian film. But the cinema here is so big — I think you produce around a thousand films in a year. In Poland, we just have about 40 films per year,” she says.