7.9/10
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Kanal (1957)

Not Rated | | Drama, War | 20 April 1957 (Poland)
In 1944, during the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis, Polish Lieutenant Zadra and his resistance fighters use Warsaw's sewer system to escape the German encirclement.

Director:

Andrzej Wajda

Writers:

Jerzy Stefan Stawinski (screenplay), Jerzy Stefan Stawinski (story)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Teresa Izewska ... 'Stokrotka'
Tadeusz Janczar ... Ens. Jacek 'Korab'
Wienczyslaw Glinski ... Lt. 'Zadra'
Tadeusz Gwiazdowski ... Sgt. 'Kula'
Stanislaw Mikulski ... 'Smukly'
Emil Karewicz ... Lt. 'Madry'
Vladek Sheybal ... Composer Michal (as Wladyslaw Sheybal)
Teresa Berezowska Teresa Berezowska ... Halinka
Zofia Lindorf Zofia Lindorf ... Old woman looking for her daughter
Janina Jablonowska Janina Jablonowska ... Screaming Woman in the Sewer
Maria Kretz Maria Kretz ... Wounded Woman
Jan Englert ... Zefir
Kazimierz Dejunowicz ... Capt. 'Zabawa'
Zdzislaw Lesniak Zdzislaw Lesniak ... 'Maly'
Maciej Maciejewski ... Lt. 'Gustaw'
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Storyline

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... Written by Heka A.

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Taglines:

"THE END of SEPTEMBER 1944 the Warsaw uprising was drawing to its tragic end." So begins the brilliant new Polish film about the men and women who took to the sewers of Warsaw in flight from the Nazis See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Just after the short story by Stawinski was published, Tadeusz Konwicki, the literary manager of Zespól Filmowy "Kadr", decided it should be filmed. Konwicki was looking for the right director and his first choice was Andrzej Munk. Munk, however, backed out of the project when he descended himself to the sewers. He thought it was impossible to depict in the movie two most important characteristics of the sewers: the darkness and the odor. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: These are the tragic heroes: watch them closely in the remaining hours of their lives.
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Connections

Featured in Fejezetek a film történetéböl: A lengyel film (1990) See more »

User Reviews

 
Fatalism in Post-war Poland
27 March 2009 | by tutusaadSee all my reviews

I saw this film in a film festival in Dhaka, in early sixties(Now Bangladesh, then East Pakistan). For me as a student, Sattayjit Ray's Apu trilogy was my only exposer to any kind of art film then. Visual realism was a new thing for us in Indian sub continent. Audience were so spellbound that they could smell sewage sitting in the cinema hall. I think like all great directors, Wajda had the cinematographic sense to create that environment where viewers reality could blend with creative fiction. In post war period of late forties and in early fifties like the School of Polish Posters, all creative mediums went through this fatalistic phase. It was grotesque but realistic.


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Details

Country:

Poland

Language:

Polish | German

Release Date:

20 April 1957 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Kanal See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Studio Filmowe Kadr See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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