The story takes place in two parallel time planes. The first plot follows the events of one autumn night in 1978. Edward Srodon, a zootechnician, makes an accidental stopover in a farmhouse... See full summary »
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The story takes place in two parallel time planes. The first plot follows the events of one autumn night in 1978. Edward Srodon, a zootechnician, makes an accidental stopover in a farmhouse of Dziabas family in the remote area of Bieszczady Mountains. He stays for the night. The initial distrust between the guest and his hosts is quickly dispelled with moonshine and turns into a camaraderie, intimacy and even friendship. A plan of making a joint business arises, as well as passion and lust, which lead to a surprising and tragic consequences... Second plot is set on a winter day, during the Martial Law in Poland. An investigating team of Milicja Obywatelska (People's Militia) is visiting the crime scene. Lieutenant Mroz is trying to solve the multiple murder case from four years ago. The tool he has to his disposal is the reconstruction of events with help of the chief suspect, Srodon. Written by
Vodka-loving police "investigate" a crime at a farm house
I expect very, very few viewers have seen the Polish movie "The Dark House" (Dom Zly) co-written and directed by Wojciech Smarzowski. My immediate reaction was "These people are crazy!" when I saw the comic/tragic depiction of how people were carrying on in Poland 1978-1982 under Communist rule. The movie shows how police are investigating a crime and how corruption and continual vodka drinking by everyone runs rampant. In one hilarious scene, the police line up at a crime scene in a farm house while a woman dishes out shots of vodka for them.
The story of the crime, told in flashback, is most of the picture. In another very funny sequence in that part, a farmer and his guest (Arkadiusz Jakubik) are into their third bottle of vodka while concocting a moonshine scheme and making the business calculations of the rapid return of their investment capital by selling to Russian soldiers at a nearby base. The farmer is using peas in his still and they decide to pay off a corrupt collective farm to get sugar. I do not know Polish cinema at all, apart from the wonderful Wadja trilogy, but I think it's obvious that Jakubik has abundant comic talent.
Drunkenness and corruption prevail in this neo-noir movie, shown in a comically sardonic way. You cannot help but be amused. When the government makes crazy rules, people seem to act crazy to get around the rules, and sometimes the rules are so bad that cynicism prevails and they do act crazy.
It's all in good writing and bringing it to life by good directing and acting. Big budgets are not essential to very, very good movies like this one.
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