Constrained but edgy political thriller based on real events
A short working day for sure: the main character is unable to complete his regular hours. But what a day it is. A local party secretary (this is still the time when Poland was behind the iron curtain) has to face a mob of strikers protesting hefty increases in food prices by the central government. The embattled secretary decides at first to stick it out at the party's office instead of making the recommended hasty escape. Most of the footage is from the point of view of the party secretary. His thoughts and stratagems to deal with the protesters is done through voice-over. The confrontation between mob and the party leads to a tense, suspenseful situation.
This film reminded me of the political thrillers that were a trademark of director Costa Gravas. The difference here is that most of the action is limited to one location. The scenes of the mob surrounding the entrance to the party building are well done and convincing. During those mob scenes, there are inserts that break up the main action to explain who are and what happened later to some of the protesters. Didactic as those may be, they end up as mere distractions. Fortunately each is short and you are quickly back into gripping uncertainty.
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