Johanna, a young drug addict, falls into a deep coma after an accident. Doctors miraculously manage to save her from death's doorstep. Touched by grace, Johanna cures patients by offering ... See full summary »
In small-town Poland in the late 1950s, an aging woman married to a workaholic doctor meets a young man who makes her feel young again. Framed around this story, lead actress Krystyna Janda discusses the death of her husband from cancer.
An explorer visits what appears to be the ruins of a gothic cathedral. There seem to be some strange statues, though, whose faces follow him as he makes his way to the end; the sun comes out, and he stops at the edge of a cliff.
Polish girl named Zosia living in Volhynia falls in love with a Ukrainian. Despite that her parents decide to wed her to a Polish widower. Soon World War II begins and tensions arise. Amidst the war chaos Zosia tries to survive.
The main character Joanna (Urszula Grabowska), waiting in vain for a letter from her husband who is in an Oflag, gives shelter to a little Jewish girl whose mother was caught during a round-up. Thus she becomes burdened with a secret she cannot reveal to anyone, even to her relatives. Joanna knows that she cannot keep Rose with her as she is already under observation, but she fails to find a hiding spot for Rose and is forced to become the lover of a German officer in return for protection. Forced by necessity, she has to cooperate with her enemies, becoming a traitor in the eyes of "her people". The final, symbolic image is suggestive - in a tearful and religious manner - of the fact that sheltering little Roza was Joanna's personal torture referring to Golgotha. However, the deeper meaning of that story is perverse and bitter: hiding the child was even more dangerous because of Joanna's "own people", mutually controlling the patriotic decency. Written by
Overall a good story. Well directed, with great cinematography, cinematography with subdued mood, one that's not detracting from the picture but enriching it.
In few instances however (especially in the opening scenes) the director rushed too much info at the viewer, trying to explain the circumstances, trying to get the story rolling. Instead - the viewer would have been better served having to wait (to delay) the discovery of the few pertaining details that wove to create the story.
After the movie we've met with the director who, despite his broken English, vigorously defended, what most people found to be a gloomy, uninspiring ending. In his own words he viewed it as "open ended ending".
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