Thursday, May 06, 2010


This is a Polish film set during the early years of Communism in that country. The main character is a woman who lives with her mother and grandmother and works in the poetry department of the culture ministry. The film is evocative of its time – a period when Polish communism was entrenching but also beginning to turn on its own. Instead of playing up the grim aspects of totalitarianism, however, the film emphasises the surreal. Although bad things happen, the mood remains fairly light, most of the time.

Rewers was apparently a big hit in Poland, and the large number of Polish people in the audience tonight seemed to love it. I liked it too, but I bet I would have liked it even more if I had enough Polish to get all the jokes.

There is a fair bit of music in the film – people listen to opera on record, but there is also a lot of jazz. Jazz seems to have been a bit frowned on in communist Poland, but you could kind of get away with playing it. At one point some party bigwig shows up and is shocked to hear jazz playing. "Jazz???" he says. "Yes," someone replies, "The music of the poor oppressed blacks". "Those poor blacks", the bigwig concurs solemnly. He then tries to dance a polka.

An inuit panda production

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