Life Feels Good (SIFF 2014)

Life Feels Good is an intimate journey through the lives of those previously thought to have no inner life. Mateusz was born with cerebral palsy. He is unable to communicate and his family has been told that he is mentally retarded and does not understand the world around him, but that is far from the truth. Mateusz, in fact, grasps so much and yearns desperately for interaction. What initially seems like it might be a depressing look at the treatment of the disabled by a society that doesn’t understand them turns out to be an uplifting celebration of the human spirit. A very rewarding film with phenomenal acting by Dawid Ogrodnik as the lead character, for which he won the Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actor at SIFF 2014.

Provided Film Synopsis
Heartbreaking and humorous, Life Feels Good has thrilled international audiences and swept the Polish Film Awards with virtuosic acting from Dawid Ogrodnik as Mateusz, a romantic, good-natured man with cerebral palsy who yearns to be understood by his family and friends. As he’s grown up, doctors and experts have considered Mateusz a ‘vegetable’ with little capacity for communication—and in doing so, disregarded his rich personality and emotional life. Based on a true story, Life Feels Good is a winning testament to the endurance of the human spirit. Ogrodnik (also in SIFF 2014’s Ida) performs Mateusz with astute brilliance as he grows into a man in 1980s Poland, a cultural climate rife with discrimination. As Mateusz meets his challenges head-on—like devising an ingenious, agile way to move around his home—Ogrodnik’s empathetic portrayal is totally convincing. His family go through a range of emotions as they try to overcome their frustrations with naysaying clinical and institutional specialists. Mateusz has a breakthrough after meeting a teacher of Bliss language, a popular method to help engender nonverbal communication. Their collaboration revolutionizes Mateusz’s life. This award-winning film miraculously underscores the vital importance of being heard and understood.

Movie Details

  • Directed By:

    • Maciej Pieprzyca
  • Cast Members:

    • Dawid Ogrodnik
    • Kamil Tkacz
    • Katarzyna Zawadzka
  • Countries:

    • Poland
  • Languages:

    • Polish
  • Genres:

    • Coming of Age
    • Drama