The Debt is a gripping thriller about two entrepreneurs who become tangled in the web of a Russian thug. Two friends begin a business venture of importing Italian scooters into Poland. With... See full summary »
At the turn of the century, Lodz, Poland was a quick-paced manufacturing center for textiles, replete with cutthroat industrialists and unsafe working conditions. Three young friends, a ... See full summary »
It is a bitter story about a middle-aged man, who hates his life and other people, including himself. Adam Miauczynski, the character known from director Marek Koterski's previous films, is... See full summary »
Husband (senior ministry official) and wife find their house is riddled with listening devices put there by his own ministry. A harrowing night follows (reminiscent of 'Who's Afraid Of ... See full summary »
In good old days Franz Maurer and his partners from secret police used to live like kings. Now, they all must adapt to new post-communist environment where they are scorned and losing all ... See full summary »
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... See full summary »
The story takes place in two parallel time planes. The first plot follows the events of one autumn night in 1978. Edward Srodon, a zootechnician, makes an accidental stopover in a farmhouse... See full summary »
The main character is the manager of a sport club, nicknamed "Teddy Bear" by his friends and acquaintances. One day he is detained at the border just as his sport team is off to a ... See full summary »
Completed in 1982, but due to its controversial anti-communist themes, was banned by the Polish government (then under Stalinist rule) for 7 years until 1989 after the disintegration of the Soviet Bloc. See more »
Occasionally a film about which you know nothing comes along and knocks you down. This is even more remarkable when it is 30 years old. It is what in Poland they call a polkownik or 'shelf movie', that is to say a film that was so explosive it had to be put on a shelf and not shown. Bugajski made Interrogation/Przesluchanie in Poland in 1982 and finished principal photography a week before martial law was declared. He then buried the film, literally, in order to keep it from being destroyed. With the end of Polish Communism it resurfaced in 1989, being premiered in the UK in 1990, and was the official Polish entry at Cannes in 1990. The story is compelling: in 1951 a young woman, Tonia Dziwisz, is arrested when she is drunk, and thrown into prison where the UBeks, a major and Lieutenant Morawski, try to force her to spill the beans on Olcha, a war resistance hero she had slept with, in a way that would condemn him to death, regardless of whether what she said was true or false. But it is not just the story that compels, but the way it is made. Much of it is in close-up, a style I am normally wary of, but Bugajski uses it to convey the visceral nature of mental and physical torture. There are some medium shots in the film, and towards the end a long shot is used to convey how distant the outside world has become. But mostly we see the faces of both victims and torturers wrestling with inner demons. Is it true? Yes. It starts in Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon territory, and develops into a cat-and-mouse psychological thriller. I think fiction takes over here, but it only shows how fiction is more powerful and more true than fact. I never have nightmares, but this film gave me one. Highly recommended.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?