A worker, Leon, is deeply in love with Anna. (None of them are really young). During night time Leon will enter an open window and merely be sitting and looking at the sleeping Anna. He may also paint her toenails with nail polish. - Since he may also in daytime use different ways of being secretly near her, he is near in the barn, when another man binds her and rapes her. But here Leon makes a great mistake. He leaves the barn immediately after the rapist - almost as if they were together. Leon is the only one Anna could recognize. In the court he gives primitive answers. Why did he do it? "Love." He gets a 5-year prison sentence. - In a pause, maybe in an appellate court, Anna says to Leon, that she does not believe that he did it. Written by
Max Scharnberg, Stockholm, Sweden
Four Nights With Anna is a masterfully shot film about obsession and alienation. Okrasa, the film's protagonist. seems almost entirely incapable of expressing himself. It seems clear that he hasn't been around other people much and that he has been unable to create any kind of relationship with anyone. One day he happens upon a rape in progress; he's too terrified to speak out until after the sound of sirens has driven the rapist off. Somewhat perversely, Okrasa sees Anna, the victim, as someone he can relate to since she has become as powerless as he feels. Although she knows he is innocent she is too traumatized to testify at his trial. Their connection is further deepened when he is blamed for the rape and sent to prison. Once freed he gets a job at a crematorium but he begins to obsessively stalk her-strangely, he lives pretty close to her. Eventually he begins sneaking into her room while she is asleep.
The plot is pretty thin but the outstanding visuals carry the film. Skolimowski's camera does an excellent job of capturing the bleak exteriors and interiors of the village where Okrasa lives. Also, there is some nice visual symbolism. In a few scenes Okrasa hides in the dark outside of Anna's window. The entire screen is black except for Anna's lit room which seems to be floating in a void: this visually articulates Okrasa's obsession as to him she is the only thing that matters in the world. In another key scene Okrasa is standing in front of a nice calm stream when a dead cow floats by. Like Okrasa, the cow is totally out of place in its environment, he constantly ends up in places he doesn't belong in.
Okrasa is the type of character that might be a bit hard to understand but the film's narrative structure aids in making him a more amenable character. As the film's jumps back and forth chronologically the viewer is mildly disoriented and unsure about what exactly is happening; it isn't terribly hard to follow but it makes the viewer about as disoriented as Okrasa seems to be most of the time.
Four Nights With Anna is somewhat slow paced but its short running time and masterful visuals ensure that all but the least adventurous viewer will find plenty to enjoy.
15 of 19 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?