Everyday Greyness is the story of Magda, a young Polish woman in recovery from drug addiction. Magda has been living at a treatment centre where, along with a small group of others, she has given up her life to concentrate on recovery. Now ready to leave, she stays behind to teach a photography course to those still in recovery.

Clara Kleininger’s 33-minute film shows Magda and her friends discussing life at the centre, while slowly building towards a photography exhibition. With the exhibition as a clear focal point, the film is free to explore abstract scenes and moments of stillness without feeling aimless. Kleininger conveys the passage of time through repetition, as there is a strict routine of events at the centre. The group go running in the mornings, develop their photos, and sit and smoke together while beautiful ripples of lightning scatter across the sky above them. Kleininger, like the group, finds unlikely beauty in the grey surroundings. The repeated imagery creates a feeling of flow and rhythm, interspersed with still snapshots showing the group’s photography. There is little context given, but the environment feels personal enough without any laboured exposition.

Magda is an engaging protagonist, quiet but wise: ‘if you take yourself too seriously, you can’t change anything inside.’ Recovery from addiction is at the heart of the film, but the journey undertaken by Magda and her friends is most often full of positivity, humour, and companionship. The well-judged pacing makes 33 minutes feel perfectly balanced and unrushed, and the photography exhibition is the perfect denouement.

This story of an addiction recovery centre is all about ‘try[ing] to love the everyday greyness’, finding moments in the day-to-day rhythms of life that bring us peace. A visually lovely and emotionally reassuring film, that makes fantastic use of its short format.



CAST: Magdalena Hodyra

DIRECTOR: Clara Kleininger

SYNOPSIS: Magda is part of a community rehabilitation centre, where she is staying on after her own recovery to help others by teaching photography.