About the Film(x)
When their family business goes bankrupt Kuba (12) and Mikołaj’s (8) parents are forced to leave Poland to find work abroad. Kuba and Mikolaj are staying behind in Poland until their parents find a solution to their problems.
Kuba is a responsible big brother. He cooks, picks up his brother from school and make sure they go to bed at a reasonable time, but time goes by and the responsibilty at home is becoming more challenging. On the phone from Vienna, his mother promises that they will be re-united soon, but Kuba starts doubting his mum’s promises.
Kuba’s story is also the story about modern Europe. It is estimated that there are more than a million euroorphants in Eastern Europe who are left by their parents who are forced to Western Europe to find work. «I am Kuba» is an intimate film about the human cost of the free movement of labour, told from a child’s perspective.
I followed Kuba for 2,5 years, through his early teenage years. I tried to capture the big and small things in his and his brothers life. How did the brothers arrange their everyday life when their parents were away? How did they solve conflicts between each other. I got a warm, intimate and sometimes humorous insight into the lives of two brothers who must manage on their own when their parents are forced to leave them. During this process, Kuba becomes a teenager and is gradually turning away from his brother and the big responsibility that has been imposed on him. His rebellion is the big turning point for the family. It was important for me to bring out the complexity in the family’s life situation and convey this in the film. There weren’t any good solutions to the family’s problems.
For me the film is about a boy who in a heroic way deal with his life despite being all alone. The film is also a story of modern Europe and how euro orphants pay the human cost of free movement of labour.
Format and length
58 min | Farge | DCP 1:1 | Stereo 5.1 Director: Åse Svenheim Drivenes Producers: Anita Rehoff Larsen og Tone Grøttjord for Sant & Usant AS D.O.P: Michał Jarosiński & Jacek Gruszka Editor: Robert Stengård Sound design: Lydhodene v/Håkon Lammetun og Petter Fagelund Online & grading: Bonanza Post production Co-producer: AMP Polska v/Edward Porembny & Ma.ja.de v/Heino Deckert Finansiers: Norwegian Film institute, The European media programme, Fritt Ord foundation, Fond for lyd og bilde, The polish film institute, Krakow film commission. In co-production with IKON. In association with: NRK, TVP, MDR. Partners: Redd Barna