In the early 1810s, Poles, part of Russia’s client state of Lithuania, think independence will come if they join forces with Napoleon when he invades Russia. This unity of purpose, in one district, is undermined by two families, feuding since the head of one shot the head of the other twenty years before. There are hopes of a reconciliation through a marriage of Pan Tadeusz, a Soplica, whose father, the murderer, is in hiding somewhere, and Zosia, a teen-aged girl, a Horeszko who lives in the household of Pan’s uncle. Other cross-currents – of love, family, politics, village traditions, land reform, and what it means to be Polish – give the film texture. It’s an exile’s story.
Tag Archives: polish
Landscape after Battle / Krajobraz po bitwie (1970) Andrzej Wajda, Daniel Olbrychski, Stanislawa Celinska, Aleksander Bardini, Drama, Romance
Film opens with the mad rush of haphazard freedom as the concentration camps are liberated. Men are trying to grab food, change clothes, bury their tormentors they find alive. Then they are herded into other camps as the Allies try to devise policy to control the situation. A young poet who cannot quite find himself in this new situation, meets a headstrong Jewish young girl who wants him to run off with her, to the West. He cannot cope with her growing demands for affection, while still harboring the hatred for the Germans and disdain for his fellow men who quickly revert to petty enmities.
Trzecia czesc nocy / La 3e Partie de la nuit (1972) Andrzej Zulawski, Malgorzata Braunek, Leszek Teleszynski, Jan Nowicki, Drama, Horror, War
The film is set during the occupation of Poland during World War II. German soldiers slaughter Michal’s wife, son and mother. Michal and his father avoid death by remaining in the forest. Michal decides to join the resistance but before his first meeting, the Gestapo kill his go-between and chase him. During his escape he gets into an apartment of a pregnant woman and helps her with the childbirth…
Rejs / A Trip Down the River (1970) Marek Piwowski, Stanislaw Tym, Jolanta Lothe, Wanda Stanislawska-Lothe, Comedy
A stowaway (Stanis?aw Tym) sneaks aboard a ship departing on a cruise down the Vistula River. The captain takes him for a Communist Party cultural coordinator and the intruder gladly adapts to his new role, immediately setting to work at manipulating the passengers and crew into silly and vaguely humiliating games. Before long, Tym has got everyone under his thumb and created his own comedic dictatorship.
In Poland in 1962, Anna is a novice, an orphan raised by nuns in the convent. She has to see Wanda, her only living relative, before her vows. Anna is told she is Jewish by Wanda. Both women start a journey not only to uncover their tragic family story, but who they are and where they belong. They question their religions and the ideas they previously believed in.
Sara (1997) Maciej Slesicki, Boguslaw Linda, Agnieszka Wlodarczyk, Cezary Pazura, Action, Crime, Drama
Leon, the 40-year-old former soldier who is an alcoholic now, gets a job as a bodyguard. His duty is to take care of one of the Mafia leader’s daughters. His problems begin when he falls in love with the 16-year-old girl.
Krzyzacy / Black Cross (1960) Aleksander Ford, Urszula Modrzynska, Grazyna Staniszewska, Andrzej Szalawski, Adventure, Drama, History, Romance, War
Also known as Knights of the Teutonic Order, this historic epic is set in 15th-century Poland, during the time of the Teutonic invasion. Danusia (Grazyna Staniszewska), daughter of warrior Jurandt (Andrzej Szalawski), is in love with firebrand Zbyszko (Mieczylaw Kalenik). Zbyszko has sworn to avenge the death of Danusia’s mother at the hands of the invaders. When he is captured by the Teutonic hordes, it is Danusia who comes to his rescue. Shortly thereafter, Danusia and Jurandt are captured and tortured. Zbyszko embarks upon a long odyssey to rescue his beloved, but by the time he finds her, she has been driven insane. After three hours’ worth of Knights of the Black Cross (Polish title: Krzyzacy), the viewer might also feel a little touched in the head.
Doll / Papusza (2013) Joanna Kos-Krauze, Krzysztof Krauze, Jowita Budnik, Zbigniew Walerys, Antoni Pawlicki, Drama, Biography
Lullaby / Kolysanka (2010) Juliusz Machulski, Robert Wieckiewicz, Malgorzata Buczkowska, Janusz Chabior, Comedy, Horror
Black comedy. A weird family named Makarewicz moves into a house recently abandoned by owner, set in idyllic but isolated Masurian village. Very soon a number of local residents and a few visitors mysteriously disappear. Nobody suspects that their new neighbors are a perfectly camouflaged vampire family…
Tanczacy jastrzab / Dancing Hawk (1978) Grzegorz Królikiewicz, Franciszek Trzeciak, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Beata Tumkiewicz, Arthouse, Drama
“The Dancing Hawk” refers to the son of a peasant who senses he can climb to the job in troubled times by playing his cards right. His slavery to work match his ambitions, and gradually he reaches the social position he desires. But the costs have included a dehumanized soul and a loss of a moral conscience. People have had to pay for his advancement, including those nearest to him. The downfall is equally painful: either imprisonment or the easy wasy out are offered as the alternatives.