Director: Agnieszka Holland
Cast: Barbara Grabowska, Adam Ferency, Boguslaw Linda
Poland, 122’, 1981, color
Polish, Russian with Turkish subtitles
The film is set in 1905, in a time of feverish revolutionary underground activity in a Poland partitioned between three neighbours. All the characters are committed anarchists. The bomb maker puts an invention together to place it at the disposal of young inexperienced terrorists fighting against Tsarist oppression. The story follows the passing of this bomb from anarchist to anarchist as several attempts are made on the life of the Tsarist governor general, until, at the end, it is effectively and harmlessly defused by a bomb expert. The presence of the bomb has a destroying effect on all of the Polish revolutionaries; they either die or break down. As such, the film was banned almost immediately when martial law was imposed upon Poland in 1981. Slated for obscurity, the film attained worldwide attention when it was feted at the 1981 Berlin Film Festival, by which time Holland had moved to France.
The wind blows, rubbing against my legs made of layers of metal and wires, swaying the leaves of grass that have shot up from the cracks in the tarmac, and going off to the windows that look like the eyes of dead children in the wrecked buildings that seem to be everywhere as far as the eye can see.
Henryk Weyssenhoff, author of landscapes, prints, and illustrations, devoted much of his creative energies to realistic vistas of Belorussia, Lithuania, and Samogitia. A descendant of an ancient noble family which moved east to the newly Polonised Inflanty in the 17th century, the young Henryk was raised to cherish Polish national traditions.
I remembered a game as I was waiting in the passenger lounge for the ferry to arrive just a few minutes ago. A game we used to play at home when I was young, in my country that is very far away from here, a relic from the distant past; I don’t even remember how we used to play it. The kind of game that makes me feel a thousand times lonelier than I already am among the crowd waiting to get on the ferry.
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