FILL IN THE SILENCE - "THREE CONVERSATIONS ON LIFE" BY JULIA STANISZEWSKA
Julia Staniszewska makes a very interesting and personal attempt to look closely on two sides of the ideological barricade in her documentary film début. The protagonists of "Three Conversations on Life" are mother and daughter - the author of the film. On one side of the barricade stands the mother, a doctor, who is a very religious and practising Catholic, and condemns the IVF method. On the other side of the barricade stands her daughter, a mother of two children conceived using the IVF method.
The women sit down to start the difficult conversations, which are held over three years. In this way, they try to get to know and understand their separate worlds. Why are they doing this? To fill the silence which - as we can only guess - accompanied them many times at the table, whenever the word IVF was spoken.
It has already happened, the daughter gave birth to two boys. There are grandchildren and grandma loves them very much, she is fond of them, caring and committed, but when she talks with her daughter, she confesses that she would rather her daughter adopted children. The mother puts God and faith, which is against the IVF method, in the first place. And it is in this sense, in the context of the inner conflict - and not in the issue of the dispute about the IVF method - that the mother becomes closer to us. The film and the conversations are conducted in such a way that we can experience and see her dilemma: on the one hand, her love for the grandchildren, and on the other hand, no acceptance of the method how they were conceived.
"Thank you, darling. I do not want to talk about this..." says the mother in the opening scene of the film and she walks away from the table. The camera is the tool used by the daughter-author of the film, she puts the camera and starts the conversation in order to understand. This raises the question why did the mother agree to this filmed conversation at all? However, minute by minute we realise that this decision is dictated by love, the women may not agree with each other, they may have different worldviews, but as we see their dedication, we understand that they love each other.
"Three Conversations on Life" brings our attention to yet another important thing. A conversation about difficult subjects, which divide us, does not have to look like a boxing match, the opponents do not have to deal each other blow by blow, as it is the case with the majority of the opinion and commentary broadcasts. The discussion does not always bring the dreamed-of result, but in spite of this, it is worthwhile to listen to the other side, without shouting at each other, but try to hear and understand them. In the film "Three Conversations on Life," neither the daughter-author nor the mother manages to persuade her interlocutor to accept her opinion about IVF. But at some point they come to the conclusion that it is possible to live together and respect each other, in spite of their different outlooks on life.