Small World (2021)

September 16th, 2021
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir.: Patryk Vega; Cast: Piotr Adamczyk, Enrique Arce, Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz, Montserrat Roig de Puig, Andris Keiss, Sally Day; Poland 2021, 117 min.

Poland’s Patryk Vega is well known for his unpretentious action thrillers like The Plagues of Breslau, usually mitigating the hyper violence with a certain glossy style, making it all worthwhile. But SMALL WORLD is a singularly unpalatable and relentlessly uncomfortable watch, the narrative – about victims of under-age sex trafficking – is ham-fisted and full of gratuitous violence, with its anti-hero policeman looking for vengeance, while morphing into a vile super-hero of the worst kind.

It all looks terrific: Norbert Modrzejewski’s brutal images leave nothing to the imagination, the camera gleefully recording unmitigated violence, making it all look like a titillating videogame for adults. Vega sinks to his nadir when his antihero Police officer Robert Goc (Adamczyk) is seen groping a young girl in the flume of a public bath. Ultimately the detective is just as depraved as the felon he’s chasing.

In the opening scenes Got is seen pursuing the abductors of four-year old Ola and her mother, but they narrowly miss a truck of under-aged kids being waived through the Russian border by a corrupt police officer. In Russia, years later, a gas explosion rips through the apartment belonging to Oleg (Keiss). In the wreckage are photos of under-age girls, including one of Ola. Goc re-opens the investigation, and the obsessive hunt for Ola. But once again he is too late, with Oleg’s brother whisking the girls away.

Later Goc meets Jasmina (de Puig), the evil leader of a satanic paedophile ring, celebrating a masked ball with her follows, But the police officer manages to slip through her clutches,  finally tracking down the (now) 16-year old Ola (Wieniawa-Narkiewicz) in Bangkok, where she lives with her wealthy abuser John (Arce), and his coterie of prostitutes. In reality, Goc is a bit of a nonce himself, and gets off on underage girls. But he manages to save Ola sending her back to her mother in Poland, before tackling the nefarious Jasmina and her masked followers. AS

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