My Nikifor review

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Writer/ director Krysztof Krauze unveils a spare yet affecting portrait of Polish ‘outsider artist’ Nikifor Krynicki, bringing to light the winter years of his life. Set in the spa town of Krynica in the ’60s, it’s a tale told from the perspective of Marian Wlosinski (Roman Gancarczyk), a party-funded painter into whose studio the diminutive, dishevelled Nikifor wanders. Marian finds the old man rude, stubborn and uncommunicative, but soon realises his gift for daubing miniatures. Shifting between cramped, darkened interiors and imposing snowscapes, the film becomes an intriguing enquiry into the concept of sacrifice as Marian jeopardises career, health and family to shelter the TB-ridden Nikifor. Remarkably, the latter’s played not by a he but a she: late actress Krystyna Feldman, whose trans-gendered turn convinces throughout.

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