Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square


Year: 2015
Country: POLAND
Run Time: 105 minutes


Benek has painted his room black. Not just the walls and floors, but the windows, the bed, and the noose hanging from his ceiling too. He’s finally ready to exit this world. Enter Lena, a reckless, stunning beauty who seems to share his disregard for life. The two fall for each other immediately, and they get married in a lavish ceremony, dancing all night long and collapsing on the floor in each other’s arms. But when Lena discloses that she has stage-three cancer, their lives that once seemed so fickle take on new, strange meanings that neither could have expected. A stylish, modern comedy-drama from the streets of contemporary Warsaw, Bartek Prokopowicz’s largely autobiographical film is an unapologetic roller coaster of timeless emotions and a thoughtful rumination on the meaning of life, death, and what lies between. Boosted by heart-wrenching performances by Agnieszka Żulewska and Tomasz Schuchardt, CHEMO’s unexpected tenderness makes it achingly identifiable and touching. (In Polish with subtitles) –C.P.

CIFF40 Screenings

Friday, April 08, 2016 at 7:15 PM

Saturday, April 09, 2016 at 9:10 AM

Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 4:40 PM

George Gund III Memorial Central and Eastern European Competition

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Bartek Prokopowicz

Bartek Prokopowicz was born in Lódz, Poland in 1972. Part of a family of accomplished cinematographers, he's been an active filmmaker for nearly 20 years.

CHEMO (2015)

Katarzyna Sarnowska, Klaudia Śmieja

Katarzyna Sarnowska

Jeremiasz Prokopowicz

Robert Gryka, Piotr Kmiecik

Principal Cast
Agnieszka Żulewska, Tomasz Schuchardt, Eryk Lubos, Danuta Stenka

Film Contact
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