A symbolic depiction of hell on Earth, set in the last days of the Warsaw uprising in 1944. Lieutenant Zadra is commanding a company of 43 men in a desperate battle amidst the ruins. Facing German offense and cut off from their comrades, Zadra is commanded to retreat his men through the sewer system ('kanal'). Zadra and his men are reluctant to do so, as it would indicate that they have lost the battle, but decide to obey the orders. However, as the men (and women) retreat, it becomes clear that their desperate attempt to flee from the hell of battle will result only in more death and suffering...
A story of the heroic Warsaw Rising.
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Did You Know?
After the official premiere on April 20, 1957 at the Moscow Cinema in Warsaw, the film had to face quite cold reception from Polish critics, who had wanted a movie monument to the heroes but received a bitter picture about the last days of the uprising. Some criticized historical inaccuracies (like uniform mistakes or too modern dialogues), others pointed out that the characters lack psychological credibility. The reception of the movie in Poland got warmer after its success at the Cannes Film Festival, and its importance has grown gradually through the years. See more
These are the tragic heroes: watch them closely in the remaining hours of their lives.