12 JUN 2023

Borys Lankosz: "I was fascinated by Erinyes' hero"

The director of the Poland series brings more details of the title that tells the story of a detective inspector of extraordinary intellect and physical strength who is tormented by visions caused by epilepsy attacks, which he uses to his advantage in investigations.

12 JUN 2023

Borys Lankosz

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GoQuest Media has recently acquired "Erinyes", a crime drama from TVP (Telewizja Polska) directed by award-winning director Borys Lankosz and based on the short stories written by crime novelist Marek Krajewski.. Señal News talked with him about the main challenges of doing the series.

How was the process to direct the adaptation of Marek Krajewski's crime novel into a series?
"Małgorzata Jochan, a production designer, died tragically on her way to the set, the day before shooting began. Her death brought us together. We felt determined to show the world her work in the most beautiful way. She was a young, promising artist, on the verge of a great career. The series is dedicated to her memory. Because of her tragedy, we synchronised quite quickly and found a mutual rhythm, so important at work. Everything was going well, but then the pandemic broke out and shooting stopped. You could get the impression that the universe did not want this series to be made. I had in mind that Krajewski's prose was to be adapted for the screen so many times over the last quarter of a century, and always something stood in the way. So I started to wonder if there was some kind of fate hanging over it. After all, the ancient Greek title evoking the goddesses of vengeance could be some undesirable hint in this matter. Fortunately, the goddesses showed their other face known from mythology and ultimately manifested themselves to us as Eumenides, or the gracious ones. From a certain moment everything went swimmingly. We ended the shooting period in Lviv, in the city where the novel and the series take place, but which for production reasons we had to largely 'stitch' from other cities. This also had a symbolic dimension. Finally, we 'reached home' - this wonderful city that was Polish before World War II, then became part of the Soviet Union, and is now a Ukrainian one. We managed to finish shooting before the next disaster."

What was the most attracted to you about the story?
"I was fascinated by this hero. A man who looks into the abyss with full awareness that the abyss is looking at him. And it changes him. He is the judge and executioner in an age without an ethical compass. There's something devilish about him. What he does is wrong, but the result of his actions is the restoration of justice. Therefore, it is difficult to evaluate him unequivocally. His inner world is enthralling. Because of light-induced epilepsy, he works best at night. And he causes seizures in himself consciously, because they are usually accompanied by visions that he can correctly interpret and use in his investigations."

What were the main challenges you have to face directing the series?
"In addition to facing the odds I mentioned earlier, it was a challenge to lead such a large group of people for such a long time. 100 shooting days. A very large crew of great specialists. Dozens of main characters. Recreating a world that doesn't exist. Actually two worlds, because - which also seemed extremely attractive to me and was one of the important factors that I took into account when making the decision to make the series - 'Erinyes' take place in pre-war Lviv, but for the last four episodes the action moves to post-war Wroclaw, German city that is now within Polish borders. This is the time and place after the apocalypse, standing in huge contrast to the captivating beauty of Lviv. And finally, the challenge was to keep a common tone in all this. Giving this story a homogeneous character."

Why the series can resonate worldwide?
"I believe there are adult viewers everywhere in the world, and by that I mean not that they are over 18, but that in their desire to be entertained, they want to be taken seriously. It can be a wonderful change from the dizzying show of flickering, repetitive vicissitudes that we are constantly surrounded by, to see the world of genuine evil up close. An evil that will force us to reflect on its nature and origin, and will not leave us indifferent to the fact of its existence. 'Erinyes' is made for such viewers. I find them in Poland and I'm sure there are legions of them everywhere else."