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WATCH: This powerful drama shines a harsh & heartbreaking light on Poland’s homophobic history

Image Credit: ‘All Our Fears,’ Peccadillo Pictures

In a 2023 study conducted by advocacy group ILGA-Europe, Poland was ranked as the worst country for LGBTQ+ rights among the European Union.

Though same-sex relations were decriminalized way back in 1932, there are no still no formal government protections against hate crimes, and the country does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions (though its liberal political parties have expressed support for the gay rights movement in recent years).

So it’s perhaps unsurprising that queer Polish films have been few and far between, making filmmaking duo Lukasz Gutt and Lukasz Ronduda’s recent All Our Fears a rarity, especially as it shines a light on the country’s own homophobic history.

Based on the real-life story of gay artist and activist Daniel Rycharski, All Our Fears takes us to a small rural community, where the country’s religious conservatism especially has a stronghold.

Despite this, Daniel (played by Dawid Ogrodnik, known for his role in 2015’s Oscar-nominated Ida) is largely accepted and respected by his neighbors. He even zips around town in a jacket he has adorned with a rainbow trim.

You can even see the real-life Rycharski sporting his signature look in the photograph below:

Daniel’s in love with Olek (Oskar Rybaczek, also seen in Netflix‘s teen drama Fanfik), though his partner is closeted so their relationship remains a secret. And he’s even become something of a mentor to a number of local queer kids in town.

After tragedy befalls one of Daniel’s friends, many townspeople begin to turn on him, blaming his activism for negatively influencing the youth. And when he tries to persuade others to participate in a Stations Of The Cross ritual in memory of the victim of a homophobic attack, he becomes a pariah.

Image Credit: ‘All Our Fears,’ Peccadillo Pictures

As Daniel struggles to keep his faith, his work captures the attention of a curator who encourages him to take part in an exhibition in a Warsaw art gallery. But the greater exposure only threatens to put a bigger target on his back.

All Our Fears actually premiered at Poland’s prestigious Gdynia Film Festival back in 2021, where it won the fest’s top prize, the Golden Lions Award. Since then, it has screened at festivals around the globe, helping to bring Poland’s fight for LGBTQ+ rights to the international stage.

Since then, the country has seen a number of opposition party candidates—many of whom have at least supported same-sex civil partnerships—elected into seats of power, giving the community hope for positive change in Poland in the near future.

All Our Fears is now available to stream via Tubi and Vudu, and is available on most VOD platforms in the U.S. Ahead of the film’s streaming premiere in the U.K. on May 5, distributor Peccadillo Pictures has shared a new international trailer, which you can watch below:

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