Two sketches covering episodes from the World War II. In the first novel, "Scherzo alla polacca", a shrewd son, trying to preserve his skin, ultimately becomes a hero and finds a reason for... See full summary »
In 1950, at night, a passenger train kills a man on the tracks. He is Orzechowski, an engineer since 1914. An inquiry immediately follows. Testimony takes the form of flashbacks. Tuszka, ... See full summary »
The story is an odyssey of a little man through Poland of 1930 to 1950. It shows his attempts to cope with a changing world which seems to have no place for him. He has no consciousness of ... See full summary »
Marcus Vinicius meets Lygia in Rome and falls in love. But she is Christian and doesn't want anything to do with him. Marcus decides to kidnap her but Ursus, her bodyguard, catches Marcus. ... See full summary »
A documentary re-enactment of an event in February 1945, when men from a Mountain Rescue Team- the Blue Cross of the title was their badge- in the Tatra Mountains in Poland, summoned by a Slovak doctor, crossed the mountains to rescue three badly wounded men, their nurse and a guard from an isolated hut near a German outpost. The characters were played by some of the original participants and amateur actors. It's a well-put together short film; the events almost entirely described by an omniscient commentator with a mixture of location and well-made re-enactment. It's only the absence of vapour from the men's mouths that shows which is the latter. There are some extraordinary shots though, with Munk's characteristic concentration on faces- an amputation without anaesthetics depicted by close ups of the patient's, the surgeon's and the watchers' faces and a tuneless humming. There are some wonderful action shots as well- an avalanche, the journey across snow fields, a pursuing German ski patrol sweeping across white snow- but more than anything it is the way Munk looks at the middle-aged and elderly faces of the rescue team- gap-toothed, wrinkled, moustachioed, resolutely civilian in a war- and the reminder that this was entered- like every other rescue- in the book at their base. It's noteworthy that Munck only depicts heroism unequivocally when as here it involves saving life not taking it.
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