Learning the Hard Way
Tomek is 14 years old and a good student. He loves astronomy and plays football to please his father. He lives in a border town where there is high unemployment while just across the river, in Germany, is affluence. He meets Marta at a disco and immediately falls in love with her and begins thinking of how he can make money to keep her interested in him. He approaches a pimp who seeks out local boys for his German clients but Tomek has no idea of the brutal fate which awaits him.
This a very strong look at boy prostitutes on the former border of Poland and Germany. The character of Tomek is built so that we love and hate him at the same time. He is endearing as a person but his stupidity with getting involved in male prostitution changes our good opinion of him.
“Piggies” is a surprising portrayal of the industry and which, unlike in other movies on the same subject, shows the kids as they voluntarily slip into the industry for money and keep coming back for more before they discover it might be too late to leave. The film portrays this with young actors presenting just the right amount of professionalism and amateurism needed for their characters to be believable. The plot is easy to follow with several surprising and shocking moments. However, I wish that the story was a bit more in depth. “Piggies” is just a nicely presented and well-structured film but it that is somehow afraid to dig deeper and show more layers to this horrible issue happening in our world every single day.
The subject of the film is a difficult topic to capture and if it cannot be presented on a high level then it is best not to present it at all. This is a low quality film that has a strong story to tell and I was amazed at the degree of vulgarity in this Polish movie.
Robert Glinski’s cinematography is excellent but it is hampered by a plot that does not always work well.
Filip Garbacz as perfect as Tomek and his emotions come through along with his childlike innocence and he is through whom we see the misery of the situation. This is a film of the brutality of young male prostitution and at times it is very hard to watch.