Stach is a wayward teen living in squalor on the outskirts of Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Guided by an avuncular Communist organizer, he is introduced to the underground resistance—and to the beautiful Dorota. Soon he is engaged in dangerous efforts to fight oppression and indignity.
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Underwhelming. At no point in this film did I have much interest in the characters or in what was going on, it just felt very heavy handed and careless. However, the photography is fantastic and there are some haunting images and scenes in here. Not a bad debut, but he would go on to do better things. 3/5
While I love Polish film to the edges, I'm no expert on Wajda, but this pales in comparison to his early uprising tales Kanal and Ashes. Baby Polanski in short shorts being smacked around is a highlight. A young man falls for a beautiful resistance recruiter/ organizer. She gets caught, she's a goner, he's sad. I'm wildly attracted to the woman who I work for; maybe a reminder not to mix business with pleasure.
An excellent look at the transition of Polish youths from optimistic rebels to serious underground resistance fighters. Set during the German occupation of Poland, the tone develops in intensity, the risks are always clear, and wartime horrors are hinted at throughout (sometimes with impressively stark imagery).
Narratively a little simplistic, but still, a pretty impressive debut feature. There are done very evocative and powerful moments: the opening on the train; the bodies hanging from power lines; a sudden and swift moment of self-sacrifice.
Premier long métrage d'Andrzej Wajda qui affirme déjà un réel talent de narration cinématographique dans cette lucide description, quelquefois à la limite du film documentaire, de la résistance varsovienne, thématique qu'il poursuivra encore avec efficacité et réalisme lors de ses prochaines réalisations...
I like a good socialist resistance film more than most but this one is a bit of a carricarure and in a genre that had many great pieces, fails to shine in spite of its obvious qualities. Would probably have been different at the time it was issued.