Oscars: Poland Selects 'Corpus Christi' for International Feature Film Category

Courtesy of TIFF

Pivoting around a young offender who poses as a priest after his release from prison, Jan Komasa's third feature questions the nature of religious belief and authority and what it is to be a man.

Poland has selected Jan Komasa's gripping religious drama Corpus Christi as its submission for the best international feature film award at the 2020 Oscars.

Like Komasa's previous films (Suicide Room, Warsaw 1944), Corpus Christi does not shy away from controversy.

Pivoting around a plot inspired by a true story, where a young offender poses as a priest after his release from prison, it questions the nature of religious belief and authority and what it is to be a man.

Although some Western audiences may find it a bit heavy-going at times, The Hollywood Reporter's reviewer David Rooney writes that the film is "original and absorbing."

Featuring a virtuoso performance by its young lead, Bartosz Bielenia, Corpus Christi is produced by Aneta Hickinbotham and Leszek Bodzak. Warsaw's New European Film Sales is handling international sales.

The film had its international premiere in the Venice Days section at the recent Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Edipo Re Award and the Europa Cinemas Label Award, the latter intended as a European distribution incentive. It also screened at the Toronto festival and will open Oct. 11 in Poland.

Poland has a long and strong track record at the Oscars, notching up 10 nominations and one win (Ida by Pawel Pawlikowski in 2014) since it first submitted Roman Polanski's Knife in the Water in 1963.

The 92nd Academy Awards are due to take place Feb. 9, 2020.