Archive of films Bellissima / Bellissima

2002, 69 min

Section: East of the West - Competition
Year: 2003

With a Herculean effort 15-year-old Marysa’s mother tries to get her daughter a career as a top model. While seeking contacts, she become the lover of an agency photographer. Marysa resists, but her mother still accomplishes her goal. The movie’s theme of maternal foolishness is drawn from the famous Visconti film.


The ambitious, still young and attractive mother of a 15-year-old named Marysa wants to ensure a better future for her pretty daughter – by putting her forward as a top model. In fact, this is how she will compensate for her own unrealised ambitions. She counts above all on Marysa’s long hair. With extraordinary energy she throws herself into the fulfilment of this dream. She seeks out the right acquaintances, humiliates herself and literally terrorizes her daughter with her demands. The girl doesn’t want to be a model but she overcomes her reluctance and gives in to her mother’s tyranny. She finds understanding from an unconventional couple in the neighbourhood, and there she is also introduced to love. Before a decisive show she defiantly cuts off her hair, but her obdurate mother can handle even this. After all, she has ensured her daughter’s success with a young photographer by becoming his lover. The relationship doesn’t lack consequences – she gets pregnant. And Marysa ends up becoming an exclusive, highly paid model in demand abroad. The movie’s theme of maternal foolishness is drawn from an old Visconti film, and the film itself highlights Polish life and the social and mental aspects of the current social situation.

About the director

Artur Urbański (b. 1965, Wlodawa) graduated in acting and direction from Lodz’s Film School (PWSFTViT). He has made both documentaries and short features: Moja ostatnia kobieta (My Last Woman), M+M and Smród (Stink), which earned him several international awards, including the Grand Prix at the New York FF and Special Jury Prizes at festivals in Munich and Mexico. Bellissima (2000) was filmed as part of Polish Television’s Generation 2000 project. 


Polish Television Film Agency
J.P.Woronicza 17, 00-999, Warsaw
Tel: +48 22 547 8167
Fax: +48 22 547 4225

Hong Kong Development Council
16 Upper Grosvenor Street, W1K 7PL, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 616 9500
Fax: +44 207 616 9530

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: East of the West - Competition
Director: Artur Urbański
Screenplay: Artur Urbański
Dir. of Photography: Marian Prokop
Editor: Marek Król
Producer: Dariusz Jabloński, Violetta Kamińska
Production: Polish Television Film Agency
Cast: Ewa Kasprzyk, Maria Góralczyk, Pawel Wilczak, Maria Morin-Kielar, Andrzej Czulowski, Katarzyna Bargielowska, Lukasz Garlicki, Bernard Hanaoka
Contact: Polish Television Film Agency, Hong Kong Development Council


Artur Urbański

Aleksandra Biernacka


Maciej Karpinski

Film Institution Rep., Film Institution Rep.


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