A totally nihilistic look at war from the burgeoning, post Stalin, Eastern European cinema. Wajda creates a dank, bleak & claustrophobic atmosphere in the sewers of Warsaw. The ghostly close ups and peculiar angles used in the catacombs is reminiscent of Third Man. As well as providing a brutal portrayal of war, Wajda creates several different characters who have engrossing psychologies- Iżewska (Daisy) is stunning!
From the hell of the rubble-strewn streets of Warsaw to the even more hellish denouement in the depths of the sewers, the middle section of Wajda's War Trilogy packs a punch as the audience follows the last hours in the lives of a group of Resistance fighters. The monochrome photography enhances the morbid psychology of the doomed characters while the sewers themselves stand as a metaphor for the debasement of war..
This was brilliantly done - the sewer sequence is incredibly claustrophobic. Despite the fact that the film tells you at the start that these are their last hours, I was still expecting at least one character to make it out (oh, you sweet summer child...)
Old times, lots of nostalgia... and good cinema! At the time this film was shot (1956) parts of Warsaw were still in ruins. You can tell the memories, emotions were still fresh and alive, I bet some of the actors experienced the war first hand... Side note: it happens Polish is my first language, I noticed the translation/subtitles are rather poor. Parts of dialogue are omitted on regular occasions. 2 out of 5.
A very dark film, both physically and metaphorically; it is packed with tension and despair, as any war film should be in my opinion; its strongest attribute is that it does a wonderful job suggesting the inescapable nature of the war; moreover, I enjoyed seeing how the mechanism of fear and paranoia divides the human spirit and the otherwise solid human society into scared, fractured pieces.
An atmosphere so rich, wonderous and starling, one can smell it. Spirits barely alive, searching the sewers of Warsaw for hope. A determination represented by a boy soldier at the last barricade: emptying his boots of sand, preparing himself for the last stand.
A strange and haunting road movie. No trip has been this harrowing and pointless since Jonah walked in circles inside the belly of the whale. Considering Poland's immediate post war history, it's not surprising that there is no light at the end of this tunnel.