A father searches for his son, who has been missing since WW II, in post-war Poland. In his quest for the truth about his son, the father is forced to contemplate the elusive and coded ... See full summary »

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(as Wojciech J. Has)

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(screenplay), (story)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Tadeusz
...
Maciek
...
Doctor Gross
Irena Horecka ...
Aunt Helena
...
Antiquary
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Adam Dzieszynski ...
Receptionist in 'Hotel Polski'
Irena Eichlerówna ...
Zofia
...
White monk
...
Jadwiga
Zofia Merle ...
Forester's daughter
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Storyline

A father searches for his son, who has been missing since WW II, in post-war Poland. In his quest for the truth about his son, the father is forced to contemplate the elusive and coded nature of truth itself. Written by Rob Hardin <scrypt@interport.net>

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Drama

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25 December 1966 (Poland)  »

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The Codes  »

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Featured in Zbyszek (1969) See more »

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Unique War Film
21 January 2014 | by (India) – See all my reviews

My third movie of the day considering 00:00 hrs as the origin, this was a real gem. Wojciech Has is a director I first heard of when The Saragossa Manuscript was suggested to me as "one of the best films ever made", and that was last week, after which I looked into his work and spotted a few interesting ones I would like to grab. And this was my first Has film and it was awesome. This is a unique war film, completely based on memories, and that transforms this drama into a mystery. A father is looking for his son who was arrested (/killed?) 20 years back and never heard of since, and his search is totally based on near extinct, sometimes overlapping, recollections and only recollections. Truth is obscured, as the father takes the journey through other people's memories to construct a logical flow of events. In his search, he reaches places he never knew existed, and discovers himself, his wife and his sons a little better. The way the story is told bears the signs of an accomplished filmmaker who does it with both technique and emotion. He introduces subtle twists in the narrative, and in a silent manner truth becomes coded and impossible to arrive at. But strangely, as the motive gets farther, other truths that were lingering in the darkness come to the fore, and makes the motive somehow redundant to die for. The director tries to question the very nature of memories and shows us how they can be misleading bits to a much greater picture, and also tries to give us the timeworn lesson of 'letting things go'. And when you add to it the surreal sequences of the boy in a medieval forest amidst war, snow and executions, you get a film that is mysterious, tragic and immersed in the mental ravages of war.


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