Polish Weddings and Possessions: A Look at Marcin Wrona’s ‘Demon’

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imagesWeddings are a difficult time, especially when you’ve left everything you know behind to dive headlong into a culture you’re not completely comfortable with. Peter (Itay Tiran) has just left England to marry his Polish fiance, Zaneta (Agnieszka Zulewska). They are to marry in an older country house in rural Poland, owned by her family. While working on a piece of the land the night before the wedding, Peter falls into a pile of human remains haphazardly buried on the property. Clearly freaked out, when he returns to the site with the family, but there is nothing there. He begins to hear voices in the house, but his new family assumes he just has cold feel. During the wedding ceremony, Peter begins to act stranger and stranger. Soon, the family is unsure if it’s the liquor or a dybbuk inhabiting Peter.

While the subject matter of the Demon is occasionally terrifying, the absurdist nature makes the film randomly funny. The family insisting their son-in-law just can’t hold his liquor should not be as entertaining as it is. The interaction of family members drinking heavily, singing, and falling into random states of undress as Peter’s new family seeks answers are hilarious.  Joining families, as well as weddings alone, are often nerve racking experiences for the couple in the center of it all. Add into that demonic possession and becoming a part of a new culture and there is absolute craziness.

Sadly, director Marcin Wrona committed suicide before seeing the film come to theaters in Poland. American viewers can now see Demon in select theaters or on VOD platforms.

 

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