During the 1655 war between Protestant Sweden and Catholic Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth some Polish-Lithuanian nobles side with Swedish king Charles X Gustav while others side with the Polish king Jan Kazimierz.
In 1668 Polish colonel Michael Wolodyjowski, who recently retired to a monastery, is recalled to active duty and takes charge of Poland's eastern frontier defenses against invading Tatar hordes and Ottoman armies.
Jerzy Hoffman's Tredowata (1976) - Leper is perhaps a film that is attempting to humanely critique the aristocratic marriage codes which prevented aristocrats from marrying those they were in "love" with. It is more likely that it is a Polish government (of the time) critique of aristocratic values. Either way, if you get by the heavy handed pretentiousness, annoying characters and simplistic presentation, it is not that disagreeable and scores barely above average.
Waldemar Michorowski is an aristocrat who is in love with Stefcia Rudecka, a teacher and governess of his aunt's child. She rejects him but ultimately comes to the conclusion that she adores him but the aristocratic marriage codes prevent them from actualizing that love. Not much in the way of exposition or dialogue leads us to conclude their "real love", aside from the awe of eyes and faces shown on the screen, so it's just forced down our throats as an obvious truth. Waldemar's family is opposed to this relationship, and wants him to marry a dull, but beautiful Melania Barska for a marriage of convenience. Maciej Michorowski is his grandfather who sacrificed his own love to marry into aristocratic blood lines and at times, he feels compassion for his grandson. Waldemar's aunt is throughly opposed to it and is at heart, an unflinching aristocrat.
Waldemar Michorowski is presented as more down to earth but he's still a snob with an aristocratic title, and quite an unsympathetic character at that. As the audience, we are supposed to feel sympathy for this "doomed love" but it's ridiculous and almost comical. Any humanist will oppose that naive presentation based on common sense and decency for humanist values, such as denouncing aristocracy all together. There is a scene of an aristocratic ball that is entirely absurd where the teacher and governess is rejected by "society" and she runs into the rain, her heart broken. It is laughable at best.
There are good shots of scenes, and period details (1920's or 1930's) but a lot of frivolous conversation that goes nowhere along with one dimensional portraits of scorning aristocrats. Some obvious displays of bad make-up and lack of lighting, notice the excess white powder, etc, also hamper the film but it is an somewhat interesting, unsophisticated portrait of the dying values of the old aristocracy.
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