Sunday, August 26, 2007

Przesluchanie (The Interrogation)

This written and directed by Ryszard Bugajski 1982 film tells the story of a woman, Tonia that goes out drinking one night and wakes up in prison, not having a clue why she’s there. She is subjected to the most outrageous interrogations about her private sexual life and is later than sooner that she –and us- find why she is held in prison. All this happens during the totalitarian regime in Stalinist Poland.

Censors banned the movie during the 1980’s and when it was finally released proved to be a disturbingly shocking account of the repressive measures applied in Stalin's era. In those days the horrifying experience of Tonia provoked viewers to a discussion of political and moral issues, and the film became a metaphor of the entire nation’s situation. Is within this context that I want to see the movie and if I do, then is a terrible story of mental and physical abuse by authorities.

If I do not see the movie within the historical context, then the story is not that shocking as unfortunately there are more terrifying stories about women that were abused with worst repressive measures, this I know from movies and sadly from real life.

But what makes this movie extraordinary is the star of this movie Krystyna Janda that plays Tonia with an exceptional performance that according to me steals the movie. Perhaps you remember her from the excellent Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue: Two.

The movie won several awards in the 1990 Polish Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Palm at the 1990 Cannes Festival. Krystyna Janda won the Best Actress Award at Cannes and the Polish Film Festival.

This is a movie that has to be seen for historical purposes and for an excellent performance by a great Polish actress.

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