We first meet Molly when she gets off the train and goes looking for somewhere to stay in a small Polish town. Her circumstances are explained obliquely, through the paraphenalia she unfolds from her bags, the lies she writes in letters to her parents and the tears which spring to her eyes at the sight of other people's children. Molly is pregnant and she has traveled to Poland from Ireland to search for the father of her child, a man with whom she spent a single night. She knows only his name and his occupation, but she is determined to keep going until she finds him simply because of some vague sense that she must.

Molly's Way is a difficult film which won't work for everybody. It's slow and largely uneventful, but for the pressure of the larger event from which Molly cannot escape. The story it has to tell is a subtle one, hidden in the details of her day to day life and the lives of those around her. Britta, the owner of the hotel where she stays, is a bitter woman, continually aggressive, yet struggling to deal with her own losses.

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The hotel is mostly inhabited by prostitutes trying to get by in a wider climate of poverty and industrial collapse. With her stubborn resourcefulness and honesty, Molly gradually gets to know them all, breaking through cultural and language barriers, yet the irony of the story is that it takes her much longer to get to know herself. The very absence of negative reactions to her situation makes it more difficult for her to determine what she really feels and believes. Her remarkable single-mindedness blinds her to the possibilities which are continually offered even by this harsh environment.

Setting aside the usual clich├ęs, this is a story which focuses less on the drama of pregnancy and more on the psychology of obsession. Its grim visuals remind the viewer that Molly's struggle is just one among many in a difficult world, yet it is nevertheless full of unexpected warmth as individuals reach out to one another in defiance of their own concerns. If you want to see something a little different, quietly observational and humane, Molly's Way might be for you.

Reviewed on: 14 Mar 2007
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A young Irish woman goes to Poland to search for the father of the child she is carrying.
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Leanne McGrath ****

Director: Emily Atef

Writer: Emily Atef, Esther Bernstorff

Starring: Mairead McKinley, Ute Gerlach, Adrianna Biedrzynska, Miroslaw Baka, Jan Wieczorkowski, Maciej Robakiewicz

Year: 2005

Runtime: 84 minutes

Country: Germany

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