A group of people find themselves stuck in remote train station in German-occupied Poland. A drunk station guard gets paranoid, sees partisans everywhere, and phones headquarters. When the Nazis arrive they find a gun, then threaten to execute every fifth person unless someone claims it.
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Since its setting alone (isolated Polish train station, 1943) loads tension enough into it, Kutz decides to play most of the first 3/4 of the film as light comedy. Until the Nazis show up. And the humor doesn't really dilute the tension at all, it only adds to the air of menace. Because the Nazis are gonna show up. Kutz keeps it all visually striking. One can only await the bloody end. But...
A revelation from Kutz, this is first and foremost a 'masterclass' on how drama can be balanced with comedy, action with stasis; and how the few square meters of a railway station can be rendered a microcosm for an entire society under occupation. Beautifully photographed and acted with sensitivity and conviction this is a first-class filmic lesson in human solidarity and in the value of historical memory. Excellent!
My personal favourite from the Polish Film School: beautifully shot and scripted, the film tells a story of a group of people forced to wait for a train. They strike poses, they try to survive or at least remain decent. And then the moment comes when you have to ask yourself - what does it take to become a hero? And what does it mean to remain human?