In the Name Of

DIRECTOR: Malgoska Szumowska

As priests go, handsome Father Adam (Andrzej Chyra) is unconventional and pretty cool: rocking out with his iPod on long solo jogs through the lush Polish forest, as well as being both confessor and confidant to the abusive gang of tough teenage boys who live in the reformatory he runs. But he is in a spiritual crisis, wrestling with sexual feelings he has long avoided and with a growing mutual intimacy with soft-spoken Lukasz (Mateus Kosciukiewicz).

The subject of homosexual Catholic clergy might have been given a lurid or scolding treatment in less sensitive hands, but writer-director Malgowska Szumowska turns a generous lens onto her characters’ plight—not only on Father Adam, who fears he is betraying a deep commitment to serve God, but also on the scarred and gritty lives of the youths he is trying to help.

Superbly written and gorgeously shot in Poland, In the Name Of establishes an admirable standard of excellence for queer-subject films in a country not known for producing them. It won this year’s Teddy Award for best LGBT-themed feature at the prestigious Berlin Film Festival— a first for an Eastern European film. Not content to be simply a drama about the temptations of the flesh (though the temptations here are many), In the Name Of is a touching exploration of the boundaries of compassion within church and society. It asks, Who will care for the least among us? Who deserves to love and be loved?


— PETER L. STEIN

In Polish with English subtitles.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: F119

Get the Frameline Festival App

A festival in your pocket

FilmFest is a simple, easy to use pocket guide to all the films in this year's festival.

Frameline36 app available now!