Writer / director Alex Pietrzak’s Me and My Father offers an ably performed and admirably paced story about Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s presented as a slice-of-life narrated by Dawid (Lukasz Simlat), a creative professional in Poland with a boorish boss, a baby on the way and an unexpected roommate in his father, Edward (Krzysztof Kowalewski), who moves in after Dawid’s mother dies.

The close-quarters stress is already taking a toll; Dawid and his wife, Sylwia, also have a toddler. But then Edward starts to misremember where rooms are in the house and enters increasingly severe fugue states of forgetfulness.

Pietrzak understands the toll this disease takes on memory, love and everyday existence — unmerciful and unsparing — and shrewdly acknowledges the ways it affects the consciousness of those in a caretaker role. Kowalewski and Simlat are both a pleasure to watch, the former especially as a former seaman who seems like his legs are swept from beneath just as he’s gotten used to land.

Nevertheless, Me and My Father arrives at a finish as unsurprising and inevitable as the malady itself.

(30 minutes, Poland; Drama; in Polish with subtitles)

Me and My Father making its U.S. premiere — is a Narrative Short finalist at the 2017 Heartland Film Festival and will be part of a short-film program presented at:

  • 12:45 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20 at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12
  • 12:45 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 21 at AMC Castleton Square 14

Tickets are available at http://heartlandfilm.org/festival/tickets/, by calling 1-866-HFF-1010 or at the box office at the time of the screening. 

Writer / director Alex Pietrzak will be in attendance at the festival.