Set at the turn of the century, the story concerns a Polish poet living in Cracow who has decided to marry a peasant girl. The wedding is attended by a heterogenous group of people from all... 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 »
Set in pre- World War II era. A young man is on a strange train to see his dying father in a sanatorium. But the place is going to ruin and recalls a lot of memories from the past. He is ... See full summary »
The film is set just before Poland's communist regime came to an end, and the central character is a provincial censor (Janusz Gajos), a tired, sloppy, lonely man, whose wife has long since... See full summary »
"I am" tells the story of Kundel, a boy searching for his place in life, his identity. After running away from an orphanage where he is treated as an outcast among outcasts by both his ... See full synopsis »
Wojnar is a wealthy man who is marrying off his beautiful daughter Kasia, in a small town in present day Poland. Wojnar had to bribe the groom with a fancy car, since Kasia was pregnant by ... See full summary »
Tomek is 14 and a good student. He's interested in astronomy and plays football to please his father. The only thing is, he lives in a poor little border town plagued by unemployment, ... See full summary »
A story about women, set in the present and in 1950s Warsaw. The main character is Sabina, a quiet, shy woman who has just turned thirty. Clearly, she lacks a man in her life. Her mother ... See full summary »
Made in 1983, shelved for four years. A chilling tale about kids playing in a bombed-out Warsaw courtyard on the day of Stalin's death, while their parents are away at the church or a ... See full summary »
Hi Tereska is a bitter coming-of-age story set in the working-class neighborhood of a post-industrial Warsaw. Full of a talent that promises the possibility of a brighter future, Tereska, an aspiring fashion designer enrolls in a tailor-training program with dreams of fleeing her sordid surroundings for the glamorous fashion world of Paris. Yet how can she escape when everywhere she looks there is a no-exit sign? With its stunning black and white cinematography, the bleakness of Tereska's world is aptly depicted. From the pathetic figure of her drunken father and tired, working-class mother to the sting of betrayal by her only friend, the bright 15-year old is slowly tarnished and worn away by an environment that strips away her humanity because it offers her nothing else.
However, it would be too easy to write off Tereska as just another victim. Polish director Robert Glinski takes the film a step beyond the trappings of an oh-so sad too bad ruination of a bright kid, and genuinely shocks the audience with his uncompromising portrayal of the vicious cycle of poverty and violence. By the end of the film I was left reeling as I watched the downward spiral of a sweet girl becoming increasingly sadistic and cruel, her vulnerability a threat to not only herself, but to others as well.
First time actor Aleksandra Gietner, cast at a reform school, delivers a genuine and powerful performance that is at times painful to watch. Her style of acting is largely understated-emotions are not cheaply posed on the features, yet often swim just below the surface, contained by Tereska's hardened exterior, to escape only occasionally in an unadorned tear. The guardedness of Tereska's emotions does more to reveal her secret hopes and fears then out-right expression ever could.
Innocence lost is a common theme in cinema, yet rarely is it as bleak and unadorned as Hi Tereska. A bitter pill to swallow without any of the inane albeit soothing comic relief that often candy coats difficult issues in Hollywood film, Hi Tereska is not easy to stomach, but its stark honesty makes it worth the discomfort.
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