Watch MUG from July 5 for twelve months exclusively on MUBI. As part of our cooperation, FFM guests are offered a 30-day trial subscription to MUBI.
Jacek loves heavy metal and his dog. He enjoys his existence as a cool misfit in an otherwise stuffy environment, and keeps his muscles toned working on a building site close to the Polish-German border where the world’s largest statue of Jesus is being constructed. But then his life is thrown badly off course by a terrible accident at work that completely disfigures him. Eagerly followed by the Polish media, Jacek becomes the first person in the country to receive a face transplant. He may be celebrated as a national hero and martyr, but he no longer recognizes himself in the mirror. Meanwhile, the statue of Jesus grows taller and taller. Whilst events around Jacek come thick and fast, the film never loses sight of the bigger picture and instead brings things even more into focus. MUG uses the format of an acerbic farce to consider conditions in modern-day Poland and explore life in the provinces, revealing a country that is busy setting its faith in stone.
Meet the director
Małgorzata Szumowska was born in Kraków, Poland, in 1973. While studying directing at the State Academy of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź, she met cinematographer, screenwriter, and producer Michał Englert, with whom she has collaborated on more than a dozen documentaries and feature films. These include the documentary short SILENCE (1997) and the feature films 33 SCENES FROM LIFE (2008), IN THE NAME OF (2013), BODY (2015), and MUG (2017), the last three of which received the awards for best feature film, best director, and the Jury Grand Prix, respectively, at the Berlinale. Szumowska’s first English-language feature film, THE OTHER LAMB (2019), was screened at the Toronto, San Sebastián and London festivals. She collaborated with Englert once more on NEVER GONNA SNOW AGAIN, which he co-directed.