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Tricks Review

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Ten year old Stefek, thinks he's spotted the father that abandoned his family when Stefek was born. He imagines ways to meet him.

★★★★

Rooted in humdrum realism, but riven with wit and fantasy, this engaging rite-of-provincial-passage recalls the ease with which Emir Kusturica once located poetry in the everyday. Convinced that rail commuter Tomasz Sapryk is the father who abandoned his shopkeeper mother (Iwona Fornalczyk) and teenage sister (Ewelina Walendziak) when he was born, ten year-old Damian Ul attempts to bribe fate to effect a reunion.

However, human hearts prove harder to marshal than toy soldiers. There’s an easy charm to Ul’s interaction with Walendziak, reinforced by the lyricism of the photography and score, which deftly reflect Poland’s post-Communist identity crisis.

Charming and engrossing with beautifully drawn characters.

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