19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Pole to Pole,
This review is from: The Scar [DVD] (DVD)
Definitely for die-hard fans of Soviet-bloc cinema only and a chance to see just how far artistic criticism of one of the more liberal Communist regimes could go, for any historian out there.
This is one of Kieslowski's early films, and it shows that he had previously worked in documentaries, as the film is made in the style of an extended edition of Polish Panorama on the state of the chemical fertiliser industry. There is little of the trademark Polish wit or humour in it (there is one joke where they pull the wool over the foreman's eyes about just how far they are from the plant, and one breathtakingly silly minute when Bednarz leans on a button and can hear an army operative swear loudly and profusely about how ...useless his machinery is), and while a good story, I can't imagine that many people went to see it even in 1970s Poland (and I've had the dubious privilege of watching snippets of Polish TV from the 1970s, thanks to the Telewizja Polska 50th anniversary telethon).
For fans of Polish film, a very young Jerzy Stuhr plays Bednarz' comrade. Stuhr developed into a very good comic actor and some say he reached the pinnacle of his career when he was chosen to play the donkey in the Polish dub of "Shrek", which couldn't be further removed from this dull and undistinguished film.
Kieslowski's later films are much better and much less phlegmatic than this. It is a testament to the openness of pre-Solidarity Poland that this can get away with portraying government ministers in a bad light and question the rampage of industrial blight across the land in an effort to improve the standards of living, but for an evening's entertainment you could do much better even sticking to the same director. Polish film has also thrown up some brilliant comic films ("Mis"/"Teddy Bear", "Spis Cudzolozek"/"List of Adulteresses", "Obywatel/Citizen Piszczyk" and "Miec Wielblad"/"To Have A Camel" - the latter three featuring Stuhr at his best) which, although not available on the same label, are much more worth seeking out than this film and demonstrate the marvel that is Polish cinema much more adeptly.
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Initial post: 1 Feb 2010 15:11:46 GMT
thought the two stars was a little rough on it!
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