Review: Polish millennials on the prowl in ‘All These Sleepless Nights’

Eva Lebuef, Michal Huzscza, center, and Krzysztof Baginski in "All These Sleepless Nights."
(Michal Marczak / The Orchard)

The boundaries of the conventional docudrama form are intriguingly blurred in “All These Sleepless Nights,” an evocative snapshot of contemporary Polish twentysomethings that packs a universal poignancy.

Shot over the course of two summers, the film intimately charts the young lives of roommates Kris (Krzysztof Baginski) and Michal (Michal Huszcza), two students roaming the music-filled streets of Warsaw on a nightly mission to enjoy themselves.

But while wide-eyed Kris, fresh from a breakup with his girlfriend, is on the prowl for a good time, navigating the endless array of pop-up dance clubs, he finds himself restlessly looking for something else, spurred on by the fear that he’ll “drown in the present.”

Tapping into that transitional juncture where limitless possibility crosses paths with nagging uncertainty, filmmaker Michal Marczak adroitly captures the youthful, restless spirit cradled within the pulsating beat of its immersive, ambient soundtrack.


While Marczak’s stylized visuals convey a fittingly surreal nocturnal vibe, there’s also a wisp of French New Wave and Francois Truffaut’s “Jules and Jim” in the air surrounding the naturalistic relationships.

Even those somewhat removed from the ages of the analytical protagonists will likely feel a tinge of nostalgia for those predawn moments of great clarity that always seem to creep up just before the distracting light of day.


‘All These Sleepless Nights’

Rating: R, for language and smoking throughout, drug use and some sexuality/graphic nudity

Running time: 1 hour, 43 minutes

Playing: Landmark Nuart Theatre, Los Angeles

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