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« Previous gallery2014 Spirit Awards Nominations Winners and Losers
Director: Aneta Kopacz
Kudos: Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (Silver Eye Award - Best Mid-Length Documentary); Warsaw International Film Festival (Audience Award - Short Films); DocsBarcelona Film Festival (Special Jury Award - Best Film); and many more
Lowdown: Even though there are a couple of films in the mix dealing in terminal illness, "Joanna" really stands out as its own thing. It tells the story of Joanna Salyga, a mother diagnosed with last-stage cancer who promises her son that she will live as long as possible. The film is so delicate, capturing the mundane day-to-day life of Joanna, her husband and her precocious little boy. But it's not so mundane when it's all you have left, is it? And that's what the film, emanating from filmmaker Andrzej Wajda's film studio in Poland, aims to show. Joanna's blog charting her daily life captured the heart of a nation, but the film is less concerned with that than the human story of how precious these moments really are. "I will hold an audition for your next wife on my blog," Joanna says to her husband at one point. Crushing. In its final moments, the film really transcends and dares you not to engage with it emotionally. It's already a significant award winner so watch out.