It’s nighttime in Warsaw, Poland. Two very different homes. In one, a father is slovenly stretched out on a sofa, watching sports, expecting his son to be everything he is. In another apartment, all clean modern, an affluent mother sits to have dinner with her daughter, who isn’t like her at all. Simultaneously, both the boy and the girl embark on a night journey of transformation, where they shed their inherited gender layers. The city streets become a catwalk of liberation. When they meet, by chance— face-to-face, body-to-body—they wordlessly mirror each other with comfort and assurance.
NIGHTWALK, directed by Małgorzata Szumowska, is the 19th commission from Miu Miu Women’s Tales. The acclaimed short-film series invites today’s most profound and original female directors to investigate vanity and femininity in the 21st century.
“The inspiration for NIGHTWALK,” reveals Szumowska, “is my friend Filip Rutkowski. He’s genderqueer, and he expresses himself by wearing women’s clothes. In Poland—a conservative, Catholic country—Filip is extremely brave.” She says that, when it comes to picturing fashion, Filip’s love of Miu Miu became the perfect starting point for her story. As a female director, Szumowska has had “to fight all my life to do what I do,” and believes that Miu Miu Women’s Tales show how “you can use fashion to do something important, that supports women, and promotes tolerance.”
NIGHTWALK manages to be both a silent film, and, a symphonic portrait of young struggle against family and social expectations. It bristles with the electricity and excitement that accompanies self-discovery. Two strangers, once trapped, now freeing themselves from the fixed roles of male and female.