In the 18th century, a recently deceased young man is exhumed by a gravedigger, suddenly revives, and then launches into the story of his highly eventful life. Brought up in a puritanical household, Robert is seduced by a mysterious stranger into killing his wine-, woman- and song-loving brother. What follows is a descent into a hallucinatory hell, where reality and illusion merge, as Robert’s evil doppelganger sins with terrible abandon–and Robert stands accused. Continue reading
A bridegroom is possessed by an unquiet spirit in the midst of his own wedding celebration, in this clever take on the Jewish legend of the dybbuk. Continue reading
A Jewish boy separated from his family in the early days of WWII poses as a German orphan and is taken into the heart of the Nazi world as a ‘war hero’ and eventually becomes a Hitler Youth. Although improbabilities and happenstance are cornerstones of the film, it is based upon a true story. (IMDb) Continue reading
The setting is a run-down tenement house—a so-called famuła, characteristic of the city of Łódź—and several incidents—both humorous and terrifying—involving the building’s tenants: some people want to earn the respect of their neighbors by beating each other up; an altruistic housewife with two hearts makes a donation to someone in need. The residents include a priest built like an MMA fighter, a charming prostitute, and a man planning to commit suicide. Continue reading
Dekalog was made for Polish TV as a series of ten films, each just under an hour in length, inspired by one of the Ten Commandments (the Decalogue), set in contemporary Warsaw in and around the same apartment block. Dekalog V and VI also exist in re-edited versions just under an hour and a half each for cinema release, under the titles A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love respectively.
As well as being set in and around the same apartment block, the films are linked in other ways. Major characters in one part make walk-ons in another. An ethical dilemma mentioned by one of Zofia’s students in VIII is the very one that drives the plot of II. And in all but two of the films there appears a mysterious young man (Artur Barcis), who appears, looking on, at important moments. Continue reading
An old leper who owned a remote sorghum winery dies. Jiu’er, the wife bought by the leper, and her lover, identified only as “my Grandpa” by the narrator, take over the winery and set up an idealized quasi-matriarchal community headed by Jiu’er. When the Japanese invaders subject the area to their rule and cut down the sorghum to make way for a road, the community rises up and resists as the sorghum grows anew. Continue reading
“Andrzej Żuławski is one of the true mavericks of European cinema and his wild, imaginative and unique films have won awards at many international film festivals over the years. A nightmarish and surreal masterpiece, The Third Part of the Night is his highly influential debut feature film. Set during the time of the Nazi-occupation of Poland and rich with multilayered symbolism and apocalyptic imagery, it shows one of Europe’s most uncompromising and visionary directors at his best. Continue reading