7.8/10
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Kanal (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 20 April 1957 (Poland)
In 1944, during the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis, Polish Lieutenant Zadra and his resistance fighters use Warsaw's sewer system to escape the German encirclement.

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(screenplay), (story)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Stokrotka
...
Ens. Jacek 'Korab'
...
Lt. 'Zadra'
Tadeusz Gwiazdowski ...
Sgt. 'Kula'
...
Smukly
...
Lt. 'Madry'
...
Michal 'Ogromny', the composer (as Wladyslaw Sheybal)
Teresa Berezowska ...
Zofia Lindorf ...
Old woman looking for her daughter
Janina Jablonowska ...
Woman
Maria Kretz ...
Wounded Woman
...
Zefir
Kazimierz Dejunowicz ...
Capt. 'Zabawa'
Zdzislaw Lesniak ...
Maly
...
Lt. 'Gustaw'
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Storyline

A symbolic depiction of hell on Earth, set in the last days of the Warsaw uprising in 1944. Lieutenant Zadra is commanding a company of 43 men in a desperate battle amidst the ruins. Facing German offense and cut off from their comrades, Zadra is commanded to retreat his men through the sewer system ('kanal'). Zadra and his men are reluctant to do so, as it would indicate that they have lost the battle, but decide to obey the orders. However, as the men (and women) retreat, it becomes clear that their desperate attempt to flee from the hell of battle will result only in more death and suffering... Written by Heka A.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of the heroic Warsaw Rising. See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 April 1957 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Kanal  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Andrzej Wajda was himself a fighter in the Polish resistance movement against the Nazis in World War II and several scenes in the film were based on his experiences. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: These are the tragic heroes: watch them closely in the remaining hours of their lives.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sygnowane Andrzej Wajda (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

"Kanal" is a melting pot of people representing Poland
7 November 2010 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

"Kanal" is a claustrophobic film of the great director polish Andrzej Wajda, which shows a metaphor for the Poland of the year of realization. It was his second work and belongs to a trilogy made on the W. W. II. The first is "Generation" of the year 1955 and the third "Ashes and diamonds" of 1958.

The film is a heartbreaking travel to the bottom of the war, represented here by the sewers Warsaw, a tour of the depths of human being, the Revelation of a world that played to an end. The beginning of the film is the antithesis of what we expected, a plane air where we see a city shattered by war, where the light as floods throughout, and where presents us with a battalion of polish resistance harassed by the Nazis to which a voice in off announces us fatalism saying "These are the protagonists of the tragedy".

The only light comes from small lanterns that makes only view between dusk accentuated by a mist from the vapors of gases of sewers. In the sewers air is dense, unbeatable, where the smell to the droppings is nauseating, fatigue makes it hard walk, the tunnels are transformed into a maze replete with junctions that do not know where van, where even float corpses. All this causes the characters are the limit and show the best and worst of each.

"Kanal" is a melting pot of people representing Poland, where the love,, the Honor, the survival instinct make presence and what may be the light that appears to the bottom of the galleries does not represent the end of the war, but grates that may represent the tragedy that still waiting for its to this battered nation.


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