The main character Joanna (Urszula Grabowska), waiting in vain for a letter from her husband who is in an Oflag, gives shelter to a little Jewish girl whose mother was caught during a round-up. Thus she becomes burdened with a secret she cannot reveal to anyone, even to her relatives. Joanna knows that she cannot keep Rose with her as she is already under observation, but she fails to find a hiding spot for Rose and is forced to become the lover of a German officer in return for protection. Forced by necessity, she has to cooperate with her enemies, becoming a traitor in the eyes of "her people". The final, symbolic image is suggestive - in a tearful and religious manner - of the fact that sheltering little Roza was Joanna's personal torture referring to Golgotha. However, the deeper meaning of that story is perverse and bitter: hiding the child was even more dangerous because of Joanna's "own people", mutually controlling the patriotic decency.Written by
Excellent drama about dilemmas and unexpected kindness
Poland is popping out potential classics lately. This one is no different. In world war II occupied Poland the life of Joanna, a lonely woman waiting for her husband to return while getting by on odd jobs, drastically changes when she finds a Jewish girl hiding in a church. In a world where nobody can be trusted the roles of enemies and allies continually shift.
Wonderfully filmed in pale colours with eye for detail. It shows exceptionally well how average people become heroes with acts of kindness and how mistrust and fear during war time makes people do the most horrendous things.
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