Inspired by Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz’s 1937 novel Ferdydurke, in which obsession with youth and the new takes an absurd and unnatural form, The Offence is a short story in the form of a film. The narrative follows a chorus of characters in a provincial Hungarian town, obsessed with tradition and fearful of the unknown. The unassuming hero of the story is a town official who decides to rescue his fellow citizens from their backwardness by an unusual method: with an uncanny understanding of the human desire for perversion, he forces progress through unnecessary prohibitions and restrictions that he knows will be broken. The film is about the paradoxically liberating effects of censorship, capable of attuning society to its needs and desires.
The Offence was shot in Hungary in the summer of 2013, in reaction to a conservative political climate. Like Breguła’s more recent works, it addresses the complex relationships between non-specialist or “uninitiated” art audiences and the abstractions of modern art.
The Offence was written and directed by Karolina Breguła, with cinematography by Robert Mleczko, sound by Weronika Raźna, and editing by Stefan Paruch. It was produced by Breguła and Tamas Liszka.
Karolina Breguła, born in 1979, creates installations, happenings, film and photography. She graduated form the National Film Television and Theatre School in Łódź. She has performed and exhibited in places such as the Venice Art Biennale (Italy), Jewish Museum in New York (USA), National Museum in Warsaw (Poland) and Zachęta National Gallery in Warsaw (Poland). She has received numerous awards, including Views 2013 and Samsung Art Master 2007, Polish Ministry of Culture Scholarship, as well as the Młoda Polska and Visegrad Scholarship. She is the author of works such as Fire-Followers (2013), Art Translating Agency (2010) and Let Them See Us (2003). She lives and works in Warsaw.