Film opens on December 18, 1999, just a few days before the dawn of the new century. A local reporter, Iron Idem, announces that the Martians have landed. Shortly after that his program loses its independence: he is given the script telling the crowds how to welcome the invaders. Then the chaos breaks out: the Martians and police mistreat the populace; things become violent. Idem’s own wife is kidnapped and it seems somebody is trying to reduce his effectiveness as a reporter. Idem decides to fight back: he illegally broadcasts a message during the rock concert, but nobody believes him anymore. In the end he is the victim of the televised bogus trial. —IMDb
Piotr Szulkin (b. 1950, Gdansk) graduated from a fine arts high school (1970) and then in direction from Lodz’ National Film, Television & Theatre School (PWSFTViT) in 1975. He directs for film, theatre and television, and dabbles in literature as well. He has shot several short films: Everything (Wzystko), The Birth (Narodziny), Working Women (Kobiety pracujące), A Girl with a Devil (Dziewce s ciortem), Charming Eyes (Oczy uroczne) and Meat (Mieso). He has incorporated his original futurological vision, drawn from pessimistic reflections on the continuing decline of humanism, in features with imaginative scenographic solutions: Golem (1979), War of the Worlds (Wojna światów – Następne stulecie, 1981), O-bi, o-ba (O-bi, O-ba. Koniec ciwilizacji, 1985) and Ga, Ga – Glory to the Heroes (Ga, ga – chwala bohateram, 1985); such films gained him several major prizes at home and abroad. After the movie Femina (1991) he returned to his penchant for absurdity, sarcasm and artistic originality… read more
A precursor to the pulp sci-fi pastiche of They Live, where a Martian invasion is used as a metaphor for government manipulation, conformity and the loss of personal integrity. The film also predicts the inevitable rise of reality television by almost twenty years; the final scene (one of the most powerful in all of '80s cinema) suggests that the notion of 'living' life will one day become obsolete, since our roles have already been cast.