Never Gonna Snow Again review – rich brew of strangeness in unsettling suburbia

A mysterious masseur visits a dysfunctional gated community in this absorbing Polish fairytale

There’s a rich confectionery of strangeness, sadness and fear to this very absorbing film by the Polish film-maker Małgorzata Szumowska, co-writing and directing with cinematographer Michał Englert. The title, incidentally, relates to a purported theory declaimed deadpan over the closing credits that there will be no snowfall after the year 2025 due to the climate crisis. (I don’t know if that’s true, but I’ve never been so scared in my life. Perhaps this film should be played to the delegates at the Cop26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, so they can all be terrified into action.)

The setting is an eerily blank suburban scene: a smug, prosperous but dysfunctional community in a gated development, with identical white McMansion-style houses whose occupants all have their own secrets. It is in fact the Ventana housing estate in Walendów, eastern Poland, a place that looks so weirdly uniform that an overhead shot makes it look like a model, and a plotline about teenagers manufacturing drugs put me in mind of American Beauty, just a little.

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