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Nightmares (1979)

Zmory (original title)
The life and times of a sensitive, poetic Polish boy who watches his country strive towards the liberation movement.


Emil Zegadlowicz (novel), Pavel Hajný | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Piotr Lysak ... Mikolaj Srebrny
Tomasz Hudziec ... Mikola Srebrny / dziecinstwie-childhood
Hanna Skarzanka ... Mikolaja / babka- grandmother
Maria Chwalibóg ... Komendowa, ciotka / aunt Mikolaja
Teresa Marczewska ... Zofia Arebrna, matka-mother / Mikolaja
Bronislaw Pawlik ... Michal Srebrny, ojciec-father / Mikolaja
Janusz Michalowski ... Waclaw Komenda
Wiktor Sadecki ... Dyrektor gimnazjum
Stanislaw Igar ... profesor Pataszycki
Michal Pawlicki ... Katecheta
Jan Nowicki ... Chwostek
Henryk Boukolowski ... profesor Znamierowski
Tomasz Koca Tomasz Koca ... Marecki w dziecinstwie
Bogdan Koca Bogdan Koca ... Marecki
Adam Probosz Adam Probosz ... Stuklo w dziecinstwie--childhood (as Adas Probosz)


Set before the first Wold War in part of Poland under Austrain occupation, the story of a young boy in primary school who later grows up to become a rebellious, poetic-minded teen in the same school when the national movement toward liberation is under way. The story of a country where church and state work together to suppress the human spirit. Written by Polish Cinema Database <http://info.fuw.edu.pl/Filmy/>

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Referenced in The Lesson of Polish Cinema (2002) See more »

User Reviews

Polish nationalism
6 November 2017 | by hof-4See all my reviews

Galicia is a region of Eastern Europe, part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until its dissolution at the end of WWI. Galicia's geographical limits are, roughly: North the rivers Vistula and Bug, East the rivers Zbruch and Dniester, South the Tatra and Carpathian Mountains and west the Sola river running through Oswiecim.

Between the wars, Galicia was absorbed into Poland. Today, Western Galicia belongs to Poland and Eastern Galicia to the Ukraine, the limit determined after WWII by preponderance of speakers of each language.

By the beginning of the 19th century nationalist movements (not unlike those beginning to surge in today's Europe) were slowly tearing apart the fabric of the multiethnic, multilingual Austro-Hungarian Empire. Although there were many reasons for the growth of these movements, one was economic (Galicia, untouched by Austria-Hungary's industrial boom was the poorest province of the Empire).

Galicia's largest ethnic group was Ukrainian, the second (very close in size) was Polish and the third Jewish. The culture of each group was at least tolerated by the Empire (with some restrictions in the Jewish case) and their languages recognized; Mikolaj, the protagonist of this movie attends a gymnasium (high school) where Polish is the official language and the Polish culture is given precedence over that of the Empire.

Mikolaj is a scion of a middle class Polish family in Western Galicia living beyond its means (there are hints of a more prosperous past). At the beginning Mikolaj is a child suffering of nightmares (which is the meaning of the Polish title), at the end he has reached early adulthood, the end of his high school education and he is being introduced to secret patriotic societies at risk from Empire spies.

All in all not perhaps the stuff out of which memorable films are made, but director Wojciech Marczewski and cinematographer Wieslaw Zdort manage to create an atmosphere out of wintry melancholic landscapes where dark uniforms and black cassocks are seen from a distance and dark, mysterious or sordid interiors are captured with an expressionistic touch. The movie well deserves watching, although it probably will unfold its full meaning only to Polish viewers.

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Release Date:

16 April 1979 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Nightmares See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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