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The Story of Sin (1975)

Dzieje grzechu (original title)
R | | Drama | 3 June 1975 (Poland)
The teenage girl is first seen confessing and warned about having any impure thoughts or feelings. Her family has boarders and one day a young man moves in and they fall in love. He is ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(novel) (as Stefana Zeromskiego), (scenario)
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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Grazyna Dlugolecka ...
...
Olgierd Lukaszewicz ...
Roman Wilhelmi ...
Marek Walczewski ...
Karolina Lubienska ...
Zdzislaw Mrozewski ...
Mieczyslaw Voit ...
Count Cyprian Bodzanta
Marek Bargielowski ...
Jolanta Szemberg ...
Aniela
...
Priest Jutkiewicz
Wladyslaw Hancza ...
Dr. Wielgosinski
Jadwiga Chojnacka ...
Leoska, servant
Boguslaw Sochnacki
Janusz Zakrzenski ...
Editor of 'Tygodnik Naukowy'
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Storyline

The teenage girl is first seen confessing and warned about having any impure thoughts or feelings. Her family has boarders and one day a young man moves in and they fall in love. He is trying to get a divorce but is denied by local church people. They live together after he is wounded in a duel, and then he takes off for Rome to get a divorce. She has a child and drowns it. She hears that he has been imprisoned in Rome so she goes there only to find out that he has been released. In her wanderings through France and Germany she finds out that her lover has married a rich woman and has went back to Poland. She gets involved with two con men who use her to trap the nobleman. She kills him when they are making love then she runs off and sinks into prostitution back in the old country. She is helped by an utopian rich man but the con men reappear, trying to use her as a lead to her old lover. She tries to warn him and is killed. Written by Polish Cinema Database <http://info.fuw.edu.pl/Filmy/>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

3 June 1975 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

The Story of Sin  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Remake of Dzieje grzechu (1911) See more »

Soundtracks

Violin concerto e-moll op. 64
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Performed by Konstanty Andrzej Kulka and Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Jerzy Katlewicz
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User Reviews

 
Story of a Sin: more than a moral tale, a portrait of turn of the century Polish society
24 February 2016 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Story of a Sin should be appreciated as more than a moral tale featuring abundant nudity and open depictions of sexuality. In addition to conveying a taste of Polish society at the turn of the last century, it's also an impressive production of 1970s Polish cinema, and reminiscent of Wajda's The Maidens of Wilko and The Promised Land.

I want to add my impressions about the movie as a female viewer. It reminded me of many other European films made in the 1970s that were publicized by ads that showed a naked woman in an embrace with a fully clothed man. There is a lot of nudity of Story of A Sin: nearly all of it is the lead actress showing her bare breasts and behind. In the scene with the nobleman both are shown fully nude, and there are some shots showing his flaccid genitals, but they're less than a minute long.

That said, the film's story is an old fashioned one warning that after the first sin, it's a long slide down to the gutter. By getting involved with Lukasz, a man seeking a divorce, young Ewa ends up estranged from her family, working in a sweatshop in a small town. After Lukasz departs for Rome in order to try to secure his divorce Ewa finds herself pregnant and abandoned. She learns that Lukasz has been jailed in Italy for forgery and theft. She gives birth alone, kills her baby, then steals money from her kind Jewish landlord. With the help of a nobleman, one of Lukasz's friends, she travels to Italy to find Lukasz, but the prison guards tell her he has been released and has left the country. While looking for him in France she hears that Lukasz has married a wealthy woman. She sinks into prostitution. Then a man who has been stalking Ewa attacks her and she drifts into a life posing as the man's wife, helping him and his henchmen con and rob others. She is forced to participate in a con that traps her nobleman friend; she kills him while he is making love to her. She escapes from the criminals thanks to the help of a reforming Count who takes her to his estate which he has converted into a refuge for fallen women. He gives an interview to reporters saying how he wants to promote reforms for Poland- I could see in this scene. why the then Communist Polish Government approved of the film. But Ewa is seduced back to her life with the criminals by one of the henchmen (who looks like Erich von Stroheim) telling her he has been sent by Lukasz to find her.

The film may feature sex, violence and nudity but it is very moral, and seems to lavishly portray Ewa's degradation as a warning to everyone - especially young girls- that one sin can lead to a sorry story of destruction. As well as being a cautionary tale, its a portrait of Polish life in the early 1900s, when Poland was not an independent country. Warsaw and the areas of today's Eastern Poland were under Russian rule ( other sections of today's Poland were then part of Germany and the Austrian Hungarian empire). The costumes, sets, and scenery are lush, and give an rich impression of life for the wealthy, the gentry, the working middle classes like Ewa's parents, and the poor, like Ewa's co workers in the offices and clothing sweatshop. The government probably encouraged the frank depiction of the seamier aspects of Polish life under the Czar (His portrait is displayed prominently in the offices where Ewa works as a copier). The film doesn't hold back in showing violence, the restrictions of the copiers' lives by their manager (he refuses to give Ewa the day off so she can visit Lukasz, who she's just learned has been wounded in a duel with the nobleman, so she abandons her job on the spot), the vulgarity of the girls in the sweatshop, and the poverty in Warsaw and in the small towns. In one scene in a tavern a waitress covers a table with doilies made of folded and cut newspaper pages. The film doesn't follow Party lines completely. It arouses empathy for noblemen like Eva's admirer, people with titles and estates but little money. It was heartening seeing a sympathetic portrayal of the Jewish landlord.

The scenes of the countryside are glorious. I recognised Warsaw locations in several shots, particularly Łazienki Park. There is much to delight the eye and much to enjoy in the Story of a Sin: it gives the viewer more to ponder than the consequences of sins of the flesh.


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