6.2/10
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4 user 16 critic

The Story of Sin (1975)

Dzieje grzechu (original title)
R | | Drama | 3 June 1975 (Poland)
The teenage girl, Ewa is first seen confessing and warned about having any impure thoughts or feelings. Her family has boarders and one day a young man, Lukasz moves in and they fall in ... See full summary »

Director:

Walerian Borowczyk

Writers:

Stefan Zeromski (novel) (as Stefana Zeromskiego), Walerian Borowczyk (scenario)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Grazyna Dlugolecka ... Ewa
Jerzy Zelnik ... Lukasz
Olgierd Lukaszewicz ... Count Zygmunt Szczerbic
Roman Wilhelmi ... Antoni Pochron
Marek Walczewski ... Plaza-Splawski
Karolina Lubienska Karolina Lubienska ... Mrs. Pobratynska
Zdzislaw Mrozewski Zdzislaw Mrozewski ... Mr. Pobratynski
Zbigniew Zapasiewicz ... Priest Jutkiewicz
Mieczyslaw Voit ... Count Cyprian Bodzanta
Marek Bargielowski ... Adolf Horst
Jadwiga Chojnacka ... Leoska
Wladyslaw Hancza ... Dr. Wielgosinski
Jolanta Szemberg Jolanta Szemberg ... Aniela
Boguslaw Sochnacki
Janusz Zakrzenski ... Editor of 'Tygodnik Naukowy'
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Storyline

The teenage girl, Ewa is first seen confessing and warned about having any impure thoughts or feelings. Her family has boarders and one day a young man, Lukasz moves in and they fall in love. He is trying to get a divorce but is denied by local church people. They live together after he is wounded in a duel, and then he takes off for Rome to get a divorce. She has a child and drowns it. She hears that he has been imprisoned in Rome so she goes there only to find out that he has been released. In her wanderings through France and Germany she finds out that her lover has married a rich woman and gone back to Poland. She gets involved with two con men who use her to trap Lukasz. They make her invite Lukasz so that they can rob him. When they are making love, she tries to kill Lukasz by injecting drug but he does not die. She runs off and sinks into prostitution back in the old country. She is helped by an utopian rich man but the con men reappear, trying to use her as a lead to Lukasz. ... Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It is not pornographic. It is a revealing work of art. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Poland

Language:

Polish | French | Russian | German | Italian

Release Date:

3 June 1975 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of Sin See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Solos en la madrugada (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Violin concerto e-moll op. 64
Music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Performed by Konstanty Andrzej Kulka and Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Jerzy Katlewicz
See more »

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User Reviews

Borowczyk - The Best, Not The Beast
25 March 2003 | by dwingroveSee all my reviews

Anyone who thinks of Walerian Borowzyk as a purveyor of upmarket smut for the wet raincoat brigade (Immoral Tales, The Beast, La Marge) is in for a shock if they see Story of Sin. A tragic 19th century romance, based on a Polish literary classic, it's in the grand 'woman destroys herself for love' tradition of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary...although our heroine Ewa (Grazyna Dlugolecka) has a more eventful life than all three of those ladies combined! The sheltered daughter of an impoverished and decaying noble family, she moves from illicit passion with a married man to infanticide, prostitution and murder.

Yet if the details of Ewa's story are sensational, Borowczyk's handling of them never is. The sex and nudity are brief and oblique - all the more powerful for being conveyed in sharp flashes of visual poetry. At their first meeting, Lukasz (Jerzy Zelnik) glimpses Ewa's corset as it hangs, discarded, on a bedpost. In one night-time encounter, the couple make love in a horsedrawn cab, lit by bursts of lightning from an oncoming storm. In the most famous image, Ewa lies alone on her bed - her naked body strewn with rose petals from a bouquet Lukasz has sent in secret. Reminders, if any are needed, that Borowczyk has the most ravishing erotic eye this side of von Sternberg.

For both these directors, the censorship imposed by a Puritanical regime - the Production Code in 30s Hollywood, Communism and the Catholic Church in 70s Poland - forced overt sexuality off the screen and into the (well-trained) imagination of the audience. Rather than focus on boobs, bums and 'money shots,' Borowczyk suffuses his whole screen with stifled eroticism and tragic passion. Most likely his masterwork, Story of Sin not only evokes memories of Sternberg and Ophuls, but can sit comfortably on the classics shelf beside them.

And nary a masturbating nun or ejaculating monster in sight...

David Melville


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