Istanbul Film Festival

Andrzej Jakimowski – Once Upon a Time in November #istfilmfest

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14 min. and 14 sec.

A young man, his mother, and their dog, face a brutal social system and the roar of a nationalist march.

Play Podcast
14 min. and 14 sec.

PODCAST| Matt Micucci interviews Andrzej Jakimowski, director of the film Once Upon a Time in November.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

An interview with Andrzej Jakimowski, director of Once Upon a Time in November, screened at the 2018 Istanbul Film Festival. The director talks about the unusual mixture of reality on fiction employed in the making of the film, which originated when he found himself in the caught in the midst of the annual nationalist march in Warsaw in 2013, where he saw innocent people become victims of violence. Yet, Once Upon a Time in November is also the story of the people who find themselves evicted from their homes and vulnerable to this violence; it is not a war movie, Jakimowski explains. In this interview, we discuss at length this interesting approach and the influence of the narrative within it. Jakimowski also elaborates on some of the key themes and cultural backgrounds of his film, talks about actors in the film – leads Grzegorz Palkowski and Agata Kulesza, and a bit part by Edward Hogg – and praises the work of his own wife, Ewa Jakimowska, which he describes as quite challenging.

Once Upon a Time in November: Agata, a laid-off teacher, is evicted from her house which she lived in with her law student son Mareczek. They desperately wander from one hostel to another, and from homeless shelters to abandoned plots all over Warsaw. Over time they are joined by a stray dog they named “Buddy.” In a social system where nobody cares about the poor and rules are more important than empathy, these two educated people have to face new indignities every day. Polish director Jakimowski employs a journalistic approach as he confronts us with the harrowing fact that the middle class is just a few missteps away from being homeless in his film that follows in the footsteps of Ken Loach, Oliver Stone, and Michael Moore. Premiering at the Warsaw Film Festival, Once Upon A Time In November stars Agata Kulesza, the aunt in Ida as Agata.


  • Reporter
    Matt Micucci
  • Guest
    Andrzej Jakimowski
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    Once Upon a Time in November
  • Festival section
    International Competition
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