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Zygfryd (1986)

Set in 1936 in Poland. Zygfryd, a handsome, orphaned young circus acrobat with an introspective temperament, is under the protection of circus owner, Waldo, and his wife. A rich ... See full summary »


Andrzej Domalik
3 wins. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Teresa Baranska Teresa Baranska ... Ina
Adam Ferency ... Emil
Gustaw Holoubek ... Stefan Drawicz
Tomasz Hudziec ... Zygfryd
Jan Malyska Jan Malyska ... Pinokio
Jan Nowicki ... Waldo
Maria Pakulnis ... Maria
Janusz Sterninski Janusz Sterninski ... Julian
Krzysztof Stopa Krzysztof Stopa ... Paganini
Jerzy Tkaczyk Jerzy Tkaczyk ... Tailor
Juliusz Krzysztof Warunek
Edward Zentara ... Stanislaw


Set in 1936 in Poland. Zygfryd, a handsome, orphaned young circus acrobat with an introspective temperament, is under the protection of circus owner, Waldo, and his wife. A rich intellectual recluse, patron of the arts (and of young artists) stumbles into Zygfryd's heart- stopping act and offers him his friendship. He also opens up his cultural horizons and teaches him to consciously reflect on life. It all ends in tragedy, when the boy finds that the circus life is no longer enough and falls during his act. Written by Polish Cinema Database <http://info.fuw.edu.pl/Filmy/>

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Well-crafted if unmemorable Polish circus drama
21 April 2020 | by ofumalowSee all my reviews

This obscure Polish feature is about a handsome, melancholy young man (Tomasz Hudziec), an orphan who works as a circus acrobat. The blustering circus owner/strongman (Jan Nowicki) who's enraged after discovering his wife (Maria Pakulnis) has seduced Siegfried. (She's also slept with the circus mime, so apparently she's not too particular.) A rich older patron of the arts (Gustaw Holoubek), reluctantly taken to the circus by his fresco restorer, is struck by Siegfriend's resemblance to a Giotto-like picture of an angel discovered buried under some plaster. There's something of a "Death in Venice" vibe to the fascination of the sickly older aesthete for this pretty, indolent youth, whom he attempts to introduce to high culture. But glimpsing wider horizons that aren't really accessible to someone of his educational or economic status only ends up underlining Siegfried's vague discontent, and leads to inevitable tragedy.

It's a morality tale that might as easily have been filmed in the silent era, with the portrait of circus life familiarly colorful and full of rivalrous intrigue. Though of course in an earlier era this tale wouldn't have the fair amount of nudity (mostly from the owner's sexy wife), or mild degree of homoeroticism centered on the sulky titular character.

I'm not familiar with this director or the actors, although all do good work-you can see why the principal performers had long careers. Something of an exception is the lead, who indeed doesn't bring much to the part but the required good looks, and whose screen career seems to have ended just a few years after peaking here. He's dressed and styled as if he were in a British New Wave boy band of the era, like Haircut 100 or Duran Duran, which doesn't help the presumably-unintended impression that Siegfried is less a soulful victim of fate than a rather bratty blank.

It's a well-crafted movie, though not memorable enough in style or storytelling to have made any significant impression abroad, which explains why mine is apparently the first IMBD review. (I watched it on a 1989 VHS tape I found god knows where a long time ago.)

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Release Date:

9 March 1987 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Siegfried See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Zespol Filmowy "Tor" See more »
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