Poland

Andrzej Wajda – Popiól i diament aka Ashes and Diamonds [+Extras] (1958)

Quote:
On the last day of World War Two in a small town somewhere in Poland, Polish exiles of war and the occupying Soviet forces confront the beginning of a new day and a new Poland. In this incendiary environment we find Home Army soldier Maciek Chelmicki, who has been ordered to assassinate an incoming commissar. But a mistake stalls his progress and leads him to Krystyna, a beautiful barmaid who gives him a glimpse of what his life could be. Gorgeously photographed and brilliantly performed, Ashes and Diamonds masterfully interweaves the fate of a nation with that of one man, resulting in one of the most important Polish films of all time. Read More »

Jerzy Skolimowski – Essential Killing (2010)

allmovie wrote:
A pair of American security operatives (Zach Cohen and Iftach Ofir) are on patrol in Afghanistan when they stumble upon a Taliban fighter (Vincent Gallo), who kills them despite his terror and nervousness. While trying to escape, the Afghan is captured by American forces; he’s tortured during interrogation, but doesn’t tell the Americans anything, in part because an explosion has made it difficult for him to hear what they’re saying. The Americans ship the Afghan off to a detention facility with a number of other Taliban soldiers, but upon arrival he’s able to escape. However, the Afghan finds himself in a forbidding snowbound climate, and with no provisions or warm clothing he struggles to simply survive as he avoids his pursuers and struggles to find some way to get home. Read More »

Renata Gasiorowska – Cipka AKA Pussy (2016)

A young girl spends the evening alone at home. She decides to have some sweet solo pleasure session, but not everything goes according to plan. Read More »

Janusz Majewski – Czarna suknia aka Black Dress (1967)

Two handed chamber piece about a middle aged woman who returns from the camps after WWII and meets the mother of her deceased husband. Unable to explain the truth about her husband’s death, Joanna weaves a web of lies to comfort the old woman. In time she is forced to involve more and more people who know of his fate. Read More »

Wojciech Has – Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie aka The Saragossa Manuscript (1965)

Quote:
During the Napoleonic Wars a young French officer seeks shelter in an abandoned building in the town of Saragossa. In this building he discovers a rather odd book, and when an enemy officer attempts to arrest him, the the second officer is also drawn to narrate the book which seems to have been written by his own grandfather (Zbigniew Cybulski). Soon the officer’s grandfather finds himself immersed within a story of fleeing gypsy cannibals, married to Muslim sisters … in his dreams, and on the run from the Spanish Inquisition. But when he meets up with a Cabalist and his storytelling friends, that is when things start to get truly interesting. Read More »

Jerzy Kawalerowicz – Matka Joanna od aniolów AKA Mother Joan of the Angels (1961)

Synopsis
The film script is based on the famous story by Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz. The action is set during the 18th century at a remote convent in the Smolenszczyzna region. The nuns together with their prioress Joanna, are possessed by demons and a young priest Suryn comes to exorcise the convent. However his measures of prayer and mortification do no have any effect and moreover, the priest begins to experience the weird atmosphere of anxiety which pervades the convent. He is torn by spiritual dilemmas and feels lost. He does not realize that his problems stem from a purely secular love towards prioress Joanna and when she pushes him to take a dramatic step, the priest decides to purge the woman, even at the price of mortal sin. Read More »

Krzysztof Zanussi – Serce na dloni aka And A Warm Heart (2008)

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AMG: In this moral fable from Poland, Konstanty (Bohdan Stupka) is a wealthy and amoral man who has made his fortune running a chain of supermarkets and has both the bank account and the lack of conscience to do anything he wants. One of Konstanty’s many employees is Stefan (Marek Kudelko), a kind and generous young man who runs a cash register at one of his markets. Stefan loses his job when a manager discovers he’s been undercharging groceries for senior citizens who can’t afford them; adding insult to injury, a few hours later Stefan loses both his girlfriend (Marta Zmuda-Trzebiatowska) and his flat. Falling into a deep depression, Stefan tries to kill himself, and is taken to the emergency room around the same time Konstanty is admitted to the hospital following a sudden heart attack. When Konstanty’s assistant Angelo (Szymon Bobrowski) learns that one of his boss’s former underlings is also receiving treatment and is expected to survive, he passes the news along to Konstanty, and they hatch a scheme to offer the principled young man a small fortune in exchange for his healthy heart if and when it’s needed. Serce na dloni (aka And A Warm Heart) was an official selection at the 2008 Rome Film Festival. Read More »