The Hidden Child

The moral landscape has been defined for some time by deep social divisions, insurmountable cultural differences, with each group quite positive that they’re right in their own beliefs. And what if we turned our diversity into a source of strength that could transform the reality and overturn harmful stereotypes? The protagonists of films presented as part of the new section of the 15th Mastercard OFF CAMERA “Unlikely Alliances” try to find out whether it’s possible. From the viewer’s perspective, we keep our fingers crossed for the unlikely alliances and the characters who are different from each other in almost every way.

In his feature debut Magnetic Beats Vincent Maël Cardona invites us to the world of youthful energy and passion. The world filled with music and songs by Iggy and the Stooges, Joy Division and The Sonics in the forefront. The director tells the story of two brothers and the radio station they started in the early 80s – Radio Warszawa. Philippe (Thimotée Robart) and Jérôme (Joseph Olivennes) work in their father’s garage, spending every spare moment on listening to and talking about music. The director intertwines the main plot with a love story. The older brother is dating attractive Marianne (Marie Colomb), whom the younger brother has a secret crush on. When the boy is called up for military service and has to go to Berlin for a year, everything changes.

The Hidden Child by Roberto Ando, adapted from the novel of the same title, tells the story of an unusual friendship. When a 10-year-old boy Ciro (Giuseppe Pirozzi) unexpectedly runs into the apartment of a piano professor at Naples Music Conservatory (melancholic Silvio Orlando), there is a meeting-clash between two worlds – of culture and streets. The boy has mugged the mother of a mafia boss, and she is now hospitalized in a coma. Ciro has no support from his father. To save the rest of the family, Ciro’s father wants to hand him over to the mobsters. Gabriele decides to hide him in his apartment. With a great sense of empathy and exceptional sensitivity, the director presents a friendship that will change both characters forever. And even more – it will give them strength to survive – in spite of everything and against all odds.

Moha, a Spain-based Moroccan, undertakes a one-week internship in order to get a job as a plumber. He works with two men who have more experience but are also quite prejudiced. The Odd-Job Men is the story of this offbeat, rather comical threesome. Everyone, the audience included, will have to re-evaluate their beliefs and face the ethnic and cultural stereotypes. Catalan director Neus Ballús, whose father was a plumber, spent years trying to make a film that would shine a light on the dense web of harmful prejudices encountered in everyday life. Full of wit and situational humor, the film, in a naturalistic, quasi-documentary style and with great understanding, portrays not only the working class but in particular the main character – seemingly from such a different world.

“Unlikely Alliances” is a new section at the 15th Mastercard OFF CAMERA. Visit Krakow between 29th April and 8th May 2022 and join us for the celebration of independent cinema.

For more information about this year’s program visit