A Polish-Canadian woman named Julie plans to take her twin adolescent children, Nicholas and Nicole, and leave her husband Henry after she catches him cheating on her. Her plans are put on hold when Nicholas is diagnosed as having a form of cancer. They decide to stay together at least for the time being to focus on getting Nicholas well. Things look dire for Nicholas when he is found to be allergic to the chemotherapy. This situation brings up disagreements in beliefs, specifically between Julie’s spiritualistic nature – she believes their dysfunctional marriage has something to do with his illness – and Henry’s sole belief in science and western medicine, he being a scientist, and between Julie’s devout Catholic father, non-devout but still Jewish Henry and Julie, who does not believe in formal religion. Feeling at her wit’s end, Julie, against Henry’s wishes, decides to take the advice of Bogusia, Julie’s father’s Polish mail order bride, despite not fully trusting her. Bogusia mentions that she once had a tumor that disappeared after she visited a faith healer in Poland. That faith healer is Alexy, an ethnic Russian. Regardless of her beliefs, Julie, as summed up by a doctor she meets in line waiting for Alexy, feels she does not have the right not to see him for Nicholas’ sake. Julie and Nicholas’ encounters with Alexy bring a profound change to their lives, as well as to Alexy’s life. –IMDb
Agnieszka Holland (born November 28, 1948) is a Polish film and TV director and screenwriter. Best recognized for her highly political contributions to Polish cinema, Holland is one of Poland’s most prominent filmmakers. She was born in Warsaw, Poland, the daughter of journalists Irena (née Rybczynska) and Henryk Holland. Her Jewish father’s parents were killed in the ghetto, and her mother was a Catholic who fought in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and was a member of the Polish Underground. Holland was raised without religion. Holland’s mother later re-married to journalist Stanislaw Brodzki. Holland is the mother of Kasia Adamik, another Polish film director.
Holland graduated from the Prague Film and TV Academy (FAMU) in 1971. She began her career as an assistant director for the Polish film directors Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda, including Zanussi’s 1973 film Illuminacja and Wajda’s 1982 film Danton. Holland’s first major film was Provincial Actors (Aktorzy Prowincjonalni… read more