Movie “Woman Of…” at SIFF

Movie “Woman Of…” at SIFF
Woman sitting in bed next to the window

A decades-spanning portrait of a transgender Polish woman on a journey of self-discovery is at the heart of Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert’s “Woman Of,” the latest from the two-time Berlin Silver Bear winner (“Body,” “Mug”) and her longtime collaborator.

“Woman Of” tells the story of Aniela Wesoły, who for almost half her life has lived as a man in a provincial Polish town. Struggling against the social mores of her conservative community, Wesoły must overcome obstacles in marriage and parenthood and test strained family bonds in the process of becoming who she truly is — despite the many sacrifices she has to make along the way. We meet male-presenting Andrej (played first by Mateusz Więcławek and later Małgorzata Hajewska) in restrictive 1970s Poland and follow her unrelenting transformation into Aniela, the true version of herself. What follows is an emotionally powerful and nuanced look at the political and familial tribulations LGBTQ members endure for basic rights and gender recognition and the strength it takes to challenge the perception of the world you were born into. This compassionate portrait is full of wonderful performances, most notably Małgorzata Hajewska’s, whose physical evolution manifests before our eyes. “Woman Of… ” challenges you to behold the possibility of the power of kindness and humanity, but only if you are brave enough to take the journey.  “It’s not a militant movie. It’s a very delicate film,” Szumowska insists. “This is a story very much about love.”

Englert is an acclaimed cinematographer who began sharing directing duties with longtime collaborator Szumowska with Venice competition entry “Never Gonna Snow Again” (2020). Twenty years ago, he was asked to film one of the first gender-affirming surgeries in Poland. The experience made such a strong impression that even then, the duo talked about making a film with a transgender protagonist.

It would take two decades for that vision to finally translate to a script, and even then, the final pieces of the puzzle only clicked into place “miraculously,” after several years struggling to finance the film. “There are people who have been very brave to support us,” says Szumowska, with private equity instrumental in getting the movie off the ground.

“Woman Of…” is playing on Monday May 13th at 8:45 pm at Shoreline Community College, and on Friday May 17th at 12:30 at SIFF Egyptian.

Adult ticket: 17.50$, Student/Senior ticket: 16.50$

More: For more information and to buy tickets: Woman Of… (

by AR


Starts On

May 13, 2024 - 8:45 pm

Ends On

May 17, 2024 - 2:45 pm



Event Tags

Movie, Poland, Polish Language, Politics