"The Public Depravity" - Comedy, Silesian style

The shooting of a Silesian romantic comedy, the debut film by Maciej Prykowski called The Public Depravity (Zgorszenie Publiczne), has been completed.


The film tells the story of 30-year-old Romanek Drzozga, who lives one of the Silesian multi-family dwellings, or familoks, built for industrial workers, this one called “Fytel”. He leads a quiet life and earns a living guiding tourists around the ruins of the nearby steelworks. Romanek spends his free time with his mate Hajnel, and ineptly tries to pick up 19-year-old Motylek, who is spending her summer vacation with her Aunt Lucy.

One day a man named Zgorszyniec – an exhibitionist wearing only bathrobe and a mask – appears in Fytel and causes a sensation. At the same time, Eirich Drzozga, Romanek’s father, decides to return to his family home.

The director, Maciej Prykowski, the producer, Maciej Ślesicki, and the actors – Krzysztof Czeczot, Dorota Pomykała, Elżbieta Romanowska, Barbara Horawianka and Marian Dziędziel – described the making of the film at a news conference on 2 October 2008.

“Supporting youth is one of the priorities of Paisa Films,” said the producer. The Public Depravity is meant to prove it. The script was selected from a competition called “Nakręcone teksty” (“Shot texts”) organised by Paisa, and the film was made as part of a program called “Czas na młodych” (“Time for the Young”‘). Maciej Prykowski is a student at the Warsaw Film School, and this is his diploma film.
“I hope that The Public Depravity will be similar to our previous Preserve: entertaining, showing reality from a not-so-obvious point of view, a little bit against stereotype,” said Ślesicki.

Prykowski said the film will be ready in spring 2009. “It is made on the basis of a really good script which was favored in the Hartley-Merrill competition and then awarded by Paisa,” he said. “This history shows Silesia as a place where people are happy, not bored, and live against obliging stereotypes. The characters are not beautiful in a Hollywood sense, but I hope that the viewers will like them.”

Krzysztof Czeczot, who plays the main role, needed some preparation. “I’m not a Silesian; I learned the dialect especially for the film,” he said. “I came to like those people immediately. They are warm and friendly. It’s going to be a romantic comedy, let’s say, in the Czech style.”

By contrast another actor, Dorota Pomykala, is a Silesian native. “It is wonderful to be Silesian again,” she said. “The texts and intonation in the film were so funny that sometimes we had to watch out so as not to burst into laughter while shooting a scene.”

The regional accent caught on among the cast. “After a couple of days, even beyond the set we talked using dialect,” said Barbara Horawianka. “I play a role of an old woman who, together with her friend, is interested only in the lives of others. They not only know everything about the tenants, but also interfere with their lives and help, for example by arranging matches between them. They behave as a Greek choir; they explain what is happening and comment on the whole story.”

“We want to show the real Silesia on the screen,” Ślesicki added. “Paisa’s motto is to show interesting characters in true reality.”

Prykowski described the film as “a romantic comedy, but in a Silesian way, that is warm and true. It should show those people’s customs, their lifestyle and their strong sense of humor.”

The Public Depravity is produced by Paisa Films and co-financed by Polish Film Institute and Śląski Fundusz Filmowy (Silesian Film Fund), managed by Instytucja Filmowa (Film Institution) “Silesia Film”. This is the second feature film, after Sleepiness, co-financed by Śląski Fundusz Filmowy.

Aleksandra Różdżyńska/Polish Film Institute


Translated by Monika Miziniak | Edited by Patricia Koza