We Are All Christs

We Are All Christs


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Meet Adam. He's an alcoholic. After a long struggle, he's finally admitted it, and he's been in therapy for two years. Now it's time for him to talk over the situation with his son. When his son confesses that there was a time when he wanted to kill him, Adam, heartbroken, recalls what it was like to live with his own father, who was also an alcoholic. In doing so, he realises how he was shaped by that upbringing and set upon his own course to destruction, and he begins to understand fully what he has put his family through.

Though it makes use of surrealist techniques, with good and bad angels appearing to petition the struggling men, this is an unusually realistic portrait of alcoholism. There's none of the glamour which alcoholic characters in movies tend to enjoy, for all that we see them having fun. Instead we see a lot of public embarrassment, domestic abuse, throwing up and general self destruction. As such, it can be a difficult film to watch; but this, in turn, makes it luxuriantly shot snippets of religious imagery all the more uplifting. In contemplating religion Adam is looking up to a different father figure, and alternative to being dragged down by the one he knew on Earth; but he must also, in the process, face up to his own responsibilities as a father and get ready to shoulder his own cross. If he really wants to be forgiven, he too must be ready to forgive and to stop blaming others for his own destructive actions.

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We Are All Christs is hard work, but it's an impressive exploration of a subject too often treated flippantly. With solid acting all round giving us a strong sense of this family and why its security matters - and, indeed, why the long-suffering women endure so much - it allows us an intimate glimpse into a private Hell.

Reviewed on: 16 Aug 2007
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Two generations of men struggle with alcoholism and the effect it has on their families.
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Director: Marek Koterski

Writer: Marek Koterski

Starring: Marek Kondrat, Andrzej Chyra, Michal Koterski, Janina Traczykówna, Malgorzata Bogdanska, Tomasz Sapryk, Marcin Dorocinski, Bozena Adamek

Year: 2006

Runtime: 107 minutes

Country: Poland


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