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Wielki tydzien (1995)

 -  Drama | War  -  1 March 1996 (Poland)
6.0
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Title: Wielki tydzien (1995)

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A posthumous homage to the great Polish cinematographer Edward Klosinski, who worked with such luminaries of Polish cinema as Krzysztof Zanussi, Krzysztof Kieslowski and the film's director Andrzej Wajda.

Director: Andrzej Wajda
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Beata Fudalej ...
Irena Lilien
Wojciech Malajkat ...
Jan Malecki
Magdalena Warzecha ...
Anna Malecka
Bozena Dykiel ...
Mrs. Piotrowska
Cezary Pazura ...
Piotrowski
Wojciech Pszoniak ...
Zamojski
Agnieszka Kotulanka ...
Karska
Artur Barcis ...
Zaleski
Krzysztof Stroinski ...
Osipowicz
Michal Pawlicki ...
Irena's Father
Maria Seweryn ...
Marta
Tomasz Preniasz-Strus ...
Wladek
Andrzej Szenajch
Radoslaw Pazura
Norbert Rakowski
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Drama | War

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Release Date:

1 March 1996 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Holy Week  »

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User Reviews

 
Little-known, Thought-provoking Wajda Film about Moral Choices
23 January 2006 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

During the Nazi era, a Jewish woman on the run takes a trolley which passes near the Warsaw ghetto, where the uprising battle is taking place, and some passengers are struck by stray bullets. They take temporary refuge in an empty building, and there she has a chance meeting with her ex-fiancé. He offers to put her up--that is, hide her--for a few days. He's now married, a professional who lives in an idyllic suburb reached by a trolley that runs through the woods. His wife seems more committed to putting up the fugitive than he is. The story involves the neighbors, the building owner who avoids involvement and seeks solace in classic poetry, and the super and his suspicious wife.

This is certainly one of Wajda's major films, but it apparently did not get a favorable reception from any faction (Jews, Poles, etc.) and one can see why. It isn't an easy film: it tackles a difficult subject and doesn't provide any facile answers or try to provoke a simple emotional response. And the characters are not especially likable.

The central character is a man who knows what's right and even DOES what's right at the cost of his life, but still isn't very sympathetic. He has no zest for taking a principled stand, and he has a certain lack of empathy. A key scene is where his younger brother, romantically attracted to the underground, goes off to his possible death fighting in the ghetto. The husband doesn't understand why his wife is crying, and only sees his pesky younger brother's unexplained (to him) departure as a relief. In short, he's like a lot of us. In films where characters are faced with strong moral choices, right and wrong are usually clearly defined. Wajda understands that it's not as simple as that. I saw this film 9 years ago, but this character often returns to my mind.

Wajda is not badly represented in the DVD/tape market, but the emphasis is on his earlier films. This is one of the later ones that's sadly not available. It deserves a wider audience.


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