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LIAF 2020: Kill it and Leave This Town, UK PREMIERE (18) ONLINE

November 30, 2020
6:10 pm

Kill it and Leave This Town (Mariusz Wilczynski, Poland)

LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Kill it and Leave This Town, Mariusz Wilczynski

Taking 14 years to come to fruition, veteran animator Mariusz Wilczynski presents a deeply personal look at his own life and that of his parents.

This surreal and striking animation sees Mariusz Wilczynski revive the memories of growing up in the industrial town of Łódź during the 60s and 70s when Poland was under communist rule. With dark recollections and surreal dreams, the film takes the viewer into a world of abstract horror, graphic violence and dumbfounding narration – a quest through the animator’s own past that blurs the living and the dead into a bittersweet orgy of squiggles and undefinable sadness.

Winner Best feature film at Ottawa International Animation Festival

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LIAF, London International Animation Festival, Kill it and Leave This Town, Mariusz Wilczynski

Scenes oscillate between grounded and poetic, and sometimes both at once, via scratchy pen strokes on crumpled paper backgrounds. The style recalls the politicised caricatures of George Grosz meeting the surreal grotesqueries of Jan Svankmajer. It’s as if Wilcyznski took all the childhood trauma and adult neuroses that have been percolating in his head and spilled them across the screen.

Kill It and Leave This Town” is not just an intimate story about unfinished conversations with my mum and dad; not just a longing for a friend. It is also a portrait of the city I come from, the city I remember. Gray, gloomy, full of chimneys, proletarian and yet beautiful. The city that attracts and repels. The city that I love. I also wanted to keep alive the artists who were important to me. Who created the world of my imagination. The world of values I sometimes fail to find today. Values which clearly state that not everything is for sale. My film is about us, the way we were. The people we no longer are but who we would really like to be once again.”

Mariusz Wilczynski, Director

2020, 88min

Director’s Biography

Self-taught, Mariusz has been developing his own animated cinema for over 20 years. Retrospectives of his works have been held at MoMA in New York, the National Museum of Brasilia, Tokyo International Forum and the National Museum in Warsaw. He also performs improvised live animation shows, which he co-creates with symphony orchestras from Hong Kong, Paris, Tokyo, Geneva, Lviv and Warsaw among others. In 2007, the New York Times recognized him as “one of the most important contemporary creators in the field of artistic animation.” He has been working on “Kill It and Leave This Town” for the past 14 years. He is a professor and lecturer at the Animation Faculty of the Lodz Film School.