Agnieszka Smoczynska – Córki dancingu AKA The Lure (2015)


One dark night, at water’s edge, a family of musicians encounter aquatic sirens Silver and Golden. After assuring the family that they won’t eat them up, the winsome sirens are recruited to join the Figs and Dates band at a neon-lit Warsaw dance club. When Silver becomes romantically entangled with beautiful blonde bassist Mietek, the more cunning Golden, who cannot escape her bloodthirsty nature, worries that her sister’s relationship will doom their shared dream of swimming to a new life in America.

An erotic, body-violent new wave rock opera about wayward sirens. The Lure mashes up folklore, vampiric mermaids, ‘80s hair and body horror to create a bewitching and surprisingly touching musical drama.

Sirens Silver and Golden (Marta Mazurek and Michalina Olszanska respectively) loiter on the shores of Warsaw in 1980s Poland, hoping to catch unwitting humans to take as food. But on this occasion, Silver refrains from dinner, instantly falling for a young guitarist (Jakub Gierszal) singing on the beach.

The mermaids assume human form and are taken in by the guitarist and his band, who see a business opportunity in their striking vocals and bewitching appearance. In a kitsch discotheque, the group, now called The Lure, performs to seedy punters willing to part cash to see their magical transformation. But as Silver falls more and more for the waifish guitar player, Golden warns her not to get too used to life on land.

Director Agnieszka Smoczynska called the film a “coming-of-age story”, echoing her own youth. She recalled that her mother ran a nightclub, where she had her “first shot of vodka, first cigarette, first sexual disappointment and first important feeling for a boy.” The mermaids were an abstraction that allowed her to tell her story without revealing too much of herself. The screenwriter Robert Bolesto sought to write a story based on two friends of his that frequented nightclubs in the 80s, which enthused Smoczynska and resonated with her own adolescence.


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