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These times were really bad. Communist party was the only party that
in that times in Czechoslovakia. Due to Marx-Lenin ideas, workers were
only good people. Every young man with rich ancestors or anti-communist
ideas had to serve in 'black barons' instead of regular army troops. But
this movie makes it funny. These so called good people, who were the
of 'black barons' military troops, were mostly stupid.
Very good comedy, I think. I had to laugh again and again.
This movie is very specific with its absurdity. Two things you might not realize is that the soldiers are there to fulfill their compulsory military service and regime didn't want them to have weapons in hand, they were incompatible with communist thinking so they ended up there... This was a picture of how it was established in Czechoslovak people's army, not Poland. Although it was for sure similar. Most important in this kind of army was to be a member of communist party, that brought you power to give orders to doctors, engineers, artists and film producers to suck their souls empty. They could only take their lives from some other side as seen. In movie Dark Blue World, it was described how they treated heroes returned back from ww2 - western front...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One thing that I like about watching foreign movies is that they tend
to have a different slant that the typical Hollywood movies. They are
generally constructed differently and tend to view life a little
differently. The glitz, glamour, and false reality of Hollywood tends
to disappear in the foreign scene. The Black Barons is one such movie,
made in Poland shortly after the end of the cold war. It is a black
comedy and is looking back into the cold war era to remember a little
like organisation in the communist regime.
The Black Barons were are section of the Polish Army that was basically hopeless. The opening says that they never won any battle nor received any medals or honours and basically they were generally treated as lower than the working class. There is no glitz in this movie, we are shown the Black Barons for what they really were, hopeless losers. The regiment we follow is comprised of film-makers, weedy journalists, and ex-barons. They are not warriors and are basically placed on work detail meaning that they are not armed. In the pubs they are not respected by the women and the whole idea of a woman liking a man in uniform is completely ignored. Only one man gets laid in the entire movie and that is with the serving wrench. In another scene the weedy Journalist Jasinek is with a woman but they are caught by the major when they fall out of the hut.
This movie is a black comedy which means that it takes a look at real life. The regiment are not a group of bungling idiots, rather they are just people that have been rejected from the other parts of the army. The major, even though seeming to be in control, does not win any praise from his superiors. When the general walks in he does so to rip the regiment apart. The soldiers simply go between the camp and the quarry working and really don't stuff up constantly, they are just serving time in the army.
We are given an idea of life in a communist country in this movie. We are constantly reminded of the threat of the American enemies, and we know that they were never planning an attack of Poland, but the soldiers were constantly reminded that they were. We see a community that is very poor and backward, there are a few cars but much of the work is still done with horse and cart. Throughout the movie there is no hope and no escape. There is no plot leading to a climax, just a look at life and the idea of absurdity. Absurdity in this movie is just the desire to make something out of a hopeless life, and the movie ends when they say that this was all absurd.
Czechoslovakia 1956 and another five year plan takes effect with the creation of the unit, Black Barrons. These soldiers don't carry arms nor fight but are a unit which will help the building of a new nation. The unit is made up of poets, noblemen, film makers and thieves. Each with a hang up and a dislike for their foolish generals. This film takes a swipe at the political system of the time with humorous moments. But it wears out by the end of it all.
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