In the summer of 2020, photographer and director Tom Krawczyk returned home to Chicago from Łódź, Poland, where he was studying film. “When I got there, my mother quietly walked me into a room where she gently pulled a strange, hairless creature out of a shoe box,” he recounts. “It looked as if it had plummeted to earth from another planet.” Meet the star of My Duduś, a friendly gray squirrel that tumbled out of its nest when it was only a couple of days old and into the endearing care of the filmmaker’s mother.
Krawczyk’s nine-minute Op-Doc presented by The New York Times chronicles the developing bond between his mother and the young squirrel, which she nurses and shelters in the family’s house at a time when animal shelters were filled to capacity. “My intuition told me to pick up a camera,” he explains. “I knew something special was happening. My mother, a Polish immigrant who had raised me by herself, had been dealing with her newly empty nest after I left for school, and I knew the joy that raising the squirrel would bring her.”
As Duduś grows, so does their emotional connection, but his instincts begin to take hold. He spends more time outside, and the relationship transforms as the young rodent matures. See more of Krawczyk’s work on his website and Instagram.
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