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In 1976, a young woman in Krakow is making her diploma film, looking behind the scenes at the life of a 1950s bricklayer, Birkut, who was briefly a proletariat hero, at how that heroism was created, and what became of him. She gets hold of outtakes and censored footage and interviews the man's friends, ex-wife, and the filmmaker who made him a hero. A portrait of Birkut emerges: he believed in the workers' revolution, in building housing for all, and his very virtues were his undoing. Her hard-driving style and the content of the film unnerve her supervisor, who kills the project with the excuse she's over budget. Is there any way she can push the film to completion? Written by
The filmmaker within this film is a real spitfire!
I'm surprised that this great film hasn't gotten more comments. In any case, the previous reviews really nail the film pretty well. I only want to add that the filmmaker within the film, Agnieszka (played by Krystyna Janda), is such a fiercely dedicated artist that she really commands our attention in every scene she's in. Sneaky, smart, with a deep cunning and a sly sense of humor, she is the real hero of the film. I love the many scenes where she steals mischievous glances at her co-workers while collecting the provocative material for her film.
Watch for the scene where she kicks her sound man in the shin. Also especially memorable is her encounter with a more successful film director, who she must persuade to be interviewed. She simply walks up to his car, bends down and looks in at him, with a blank expression on her face, and stares at him. It's as if she's persuading him by sheer force of will! Truly a great film, and a great performance.
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