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Hari Yelleti Film Review - Jasminum
Home > IFFI 2006
Panjim, Goa
November 22, 2006

JasminumJasminum (2006)
Janusz Gajos (Brother Sanitas), Grazyna Blecka-Kolska (Natasha), Wiktoria Gosiewska (Gienia), Adam Ferency (Prior Kleofas), Krzysztof Pieczynski (Brother Birdcherry)
Music: Zygmunt Konieczny
Cinematographer: Krzysztof Ptak, P.S.C.
Editor: Witold Chomiński
Art Director: Joanna Doroszkiewicz
Script - Director: Jan Jakub Kolski
Producer: Michal Szczerbic

Runtime: 115 min
Country: Poland
Language: Polish

I learned something interesting through the screening of this Film. Polish people say 'God Bless you' as a way of wishing you, and you are supposed to wish back with 'for ever and ever'. Very charming! Film is such a wonderful medium to experience different cultures right from the comforts of AC and dolby sounds. Jasminum itself explores how art enriches life, especially Film!

Director Jan Jakub Kolski explores the idea of science versus faith in this beautifully shot Film where a woman art restorator Natasha arrives at a Monastery to restore and preserve aging paintings, particularly the Virgin Mary painting. She has a cute daughter named Eugenia who insists on others not using a petname on her. The Film is told through the voice over of and many times from the point of view of this five year old.

Father Kleofas believes that the paintings will save themselves and says they should. Natasha says it is chemistry which should save the paintings. Slowly and steadily Father sees that Natasha's work is doing wonders to the painting, we all can see it,  'what is the point? the painting looks clearer now. But does it make our prayers any  stronger?" he asks. A very interesting question. A painting saved by a miracle would have had stronger impact on the way of life, the father observes.

The monastery has 3 brothers living in closed rooms, only coming out in the nights mostly to do the gardening work, supposedly on their way to sainthood. The three are  named Brother sweetberry, brother birdberry and brother Plum. Apparently, the three brothers exude smells of sweetberry, birdberry(smell of ducklings) and of fruit plum. The three are on their way to sainthood, the men smelling of fruits and birds is supposed to be a miracle of sorts. We all know that Church requires miracles before it could bestow sainthood on the priests. The three brothers are apparently in the reckoning for the sainthood and Father Kleofas is sure that one of the miracles would be the restoration of the paintings in the monastery by these monks. But are the brothers for real?

There is an interesting babe character Patricia, a hairdresser who says that the smell of brother Birdberry makes her feel sexy. Natasha being a chemist tries to compose chemically the very smell that Patricia senses from this monk. Director explores the  idea of 'what are people looking for in their lives?' in implied and surrealistic methods. Could the perfumes and scents that Natasha is preparing induce feelings of love in people who experience these smells? The answer is in love, in the heart, he seems  to say by the end of the Film.

The most interesting character in the Film is Monk Salinas who is a cook and who develops a warm relatioship with the Kid Eugenia(genie). The film is full of little pleasures through the behavioral patterns of the people especially of the cook and the kid.  There were more than a bunch of laughs in the theatre when these two were on the screen and I would love to watch it again, just for them. I am already glad I am here in Goa, thanx to Jasminum.

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