This tragicomic family epic from DFF40 tribute guest Jan Kidawa-Blonski (see also Little Rose and Stars) begins in Silesia, a mostly Polish territory also claimed by Germany at various points in history. It’s against this backdrop that two brothers are pushed in different directions on the eve of World War II. Ewald is called up to the Polish army. Antek, his brother, stays at home watching his beautiful sister-in-law with cow-eyed longing—until he suddenly decides to volunteer in Wehrmacht, the armed forces of Nazi Germany.
When he returns home in 1945 as a secret Soviet police officer, he finally consummates his lust with Ewald’s wife, and Janek, a hunchback, is born. As the saga unfolds, Kidawa-Blonski uses the growing boy’s story to highlight the dizzying complexities leading to the development of contemporary Poland, and issues involving divided loyalty, ethnic tension, fluid political identity and opportunism reverberate throughout the narrative.
Indeed, the course of modern Polish history, as it is shaped in those crucial years, parallels the whole family’s changes; the allegorical meaning of the film is brought into focus particularly through the chameleon-like transformations of the charismatic Antek, who leaves his career in military and police service to become a priest, a Communist Party official, an oppositionist and a Western businessman in succession.
Sponsored by Consulate General of Poland in Los Angeles, Mariusz M. Brymora
Director Jan Kidawa-Blonski in attendance
Editor: Grazyna Jasinska-Wisniarowska | Cinematographer: Zdzislaw Najda | Screenwriter: Jan Kidawa-Blonski, Jacek Kondracki, Zenon Olejniczak
Cast: Barbara Babilinska