Set during the occupation of Poland during World War II. Some German soldiers, slaughter a woman, her son and daughter-in-law. The husband and his father escape by being in the forest. The young man decides to join the resistance.
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I will watch any Zulawski film, because they are inherently different from most of what you see out there. He's in touch with that madness that lives in all of us, and only comes out to play in times of extreme stress. It's those extremes which are so fascinating.
An unforgettable debut. While it may seem disorienting and unnecessarily violent at times, those qualities very well work as strong points on what it definitely is the work of someone that is not merely interested in shocking and confusing the audience, but tries to pummel you with a pervasive realism within the ethereal, amazingly constructed narrative.
Mise en scène hystérique et morcelée, mystique obscure et fiévreuse, ambiance de cauchemar et décors glauques : on reconnaît bien Zulawski dès son premier film ! Le thème omniprésent du double se retrouvera magnifié dix ans plus tard dans Possession, son chef d'œuvre...
A film that features one of the most hauntingly beautiful and distrubring openings in cinema, which invades immediately and unconditionally social taboos about family life. Beyond this, what follows is a labyrinthine journey into sexuality, politics, evil itself that announces Żuławski's apocalyptic world of guilt, crucifixion and redemption. An ingenious wedlock of theology and politics. A masterpiece, no doubt!
"The fourth angeI sounded the trumpet and the third part of the sun was smitten and the third part of the moon and the third part of the stars so that the third part of them was darkened and the day did not shine for a third part of it and the night in like manner." ...hallucinogen!
CINEMA _ This exaltation, the fury, all blood and swet, reminded me a lot of Dostoyevsky. Zulawski is brillant for creating new feverish images and the film is altogether so dark that it conveys an apocalyptic-hellish atmosphere all the way. The figure of the double comes here again. The first 30 minutes are breathtaking.