In the early 1810s, Poles, part of Russia's client state of Lithuania, think independence will come if they join forces with Napoleon when he invades Russia. This unity of purpose, in one ... See full summary »
In the 15th century the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is facing a hard struggle against the neighboring Teutonic Order.Frequent clashes between the two powers finally culminate in 1410 with the Battle of Grunwald.
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 »
During the 1655 war between Protestant Sweden and Catholic Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth some Polish-Lithuanian nobles side with Swedish king Charles X Gustav while others side with the Polish king Jan Kazimierz.
Leon, the 40-year-old former soldier who is an alcoholic now, gets a job as a bodyguard. His duty is to take care of one of the Mafia leader's daughters. His problems begin when he falls in love with the 16-year-old girl.
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 »
In the early 1810s, Poles, part of Russia's client state of Lithuania, think independence will come if they join forces with Napoleon when he invades Russia. This unity of purpose, in one district, is undermined by two families, feuding since the head of one shot the head of the other twenty years before. There are hopes of a reconciliation through a marriage of Pan Tadeusz, a Soplica, whose father, the murderer, is in hiding somewhere, and Zosia, a teen-aged girl, a Horeszko who lives in the household of Pan's uncle. Other cross-currents - of love, family, politics, village traditions, land reform, and what it means to be Polish - give the film texture. It's an exile's story. Written by
Andrzej Wajda has taken a masterpiece in one genre (poetry) and not only done justice to it but created a masterpiece in another genre (film), one which did not even exist when Mickiewicz wrote the poem 166 years earlier.
The actors are mainly well-known faces in Polish cinema and yet all rise above the stereotypical images many of the audience have of them. The greatest example of this is Boguslaw Linda as Robak the Priest. In the most moving scene in the film he gives the performance of his life.
The harmonious blend of Wajda's direction and Wojciech Kilar's score is a sensual feast. It is a film which impresses a profound sense of beauty to such an extent that one could appreciate the sheer art of the film without even having to understand the language (I cannot vouch for the quality of the sub-titles in English as I saw it in its original version).
If you only see one foreign language film this year, make sure it is this one.
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