Slamdance 2023: Silent Love

Directed by Mark Kozakiewicz, the new documentary Silent Love begins in a small Polish village after the mother of Aga and Milosz passes away. Alone and hurting, Aga seeks to become legal guardian for her younger brother to help keep the family together. However, in the midst of their legal battle, an unknown piece of Aga?s life is revealed to her sibling when she confesses her love for her partner, Maya. Living in a highly conservative area, the LGBTQ community are viewed as immoral and Aga and Maya have kept their relationship a secret. As Milosz grieves the loss of his mother, the three come together to form a new family that challenges the status quo of this quiet corner of the country.

Directed by Marek Kozakiewicz, Silent Love is an intimate look at the redefinition of family in the modern age. Although the film begins as a story of one woman?s fight to care for her brother, it quickly becomes about much more as it expands its vision. But that?s what sets Love apart. Even though his intent was to focus on the custody battle, Kozakiewicz?s plans change as the story evolves. Suddenly, what begins as one journey splits into two dueling narratives that complement and inform one another in unexpected ways.

Despite the ?big? nature of these stories, Kozakiewicz keeps the film feeling small. This is one small family caught in a much larger world, fueled by bureaucracy and toxicity. As such,?Silent Love?feels like a very quiet film but that?s also the beauty of it. This is a story about a family attempting to come together in a world that threatens to tear them apart. Oppression against the LGBTQ community threatens the unspoken romance between Maya and Aga. Meanwhile, government inquisitions feel as though they could tear Milosz from his home at any moment. Although the odds seem stacked against them, Aga, Milosz and Maya want only to live in peace.?

To them, all that matters is each other.

As he follows their journey, Kozakiewicz captures Aga, Maya and Milosz? intimate love for one another with grace and humility. With an unflinching eye, he walks with them as they face each moment together (or, at times, apart). In this way, Silent Love becomes a testament to the power of commitment in all relationships, whether romantic or familial. While this type of family structure may not be ?traditional? in this corner of the world, their love supports and celebrates each other in the midst of life?s storms. 

And Silent Love calls us to do the same.

Silent Love is screening at Slamdance ?23.

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