THE PROMISED LAND
Dir. Andrzej Wajda, 1975
The film won October poll narrowly by one vote, whiff! My own personal preference, so I'm quite happy about it.
The total vote was 18:
• Maids of Wilko - 4 votes
• The promised Land - 7 votes
• The Debt - 6 votes
• The White Soup - 0 votes
• (Unspecified) Other - 1 vote
Starring: Daniel Olbrychski, Wojciech Pszoniak, Andrzej Seweryn, Anna Nehrebecka, Kalina Jedrusik and many more big stars of the Polish cinema of 70s - for full cast and credits go there.
Very interesting tele-disc made for the movie here.
Trailer (in Polish only) for the movie here.
Wojciech Kilar's Waltz music from the movie here.
Wajda himself writes about the movie here (+ a few reviews included)
Wikipedia article (in English) about Wladyslaw Reymont here - the script was based on his book.
I read somewhere that the film's message was very acceptable to the Polish regime in power when it was made, and that the film reviewers were government-encouraged to give it high marks for the harsh portrayal of capitalist Poland. I loved the film the first time around, when it came out, even though back then I don't remember reading any reviews of it - it was just a stunning picture to me, commenting on human traits, beautifully done and acted. I remember thinking that it will be a hard to forget film, although its political message probably went right over my head - it was a common knowledge back then that Reymont, the author of the book on which the movie script was based, worked as a clerk for an industrialist about the time the book takes place (the end of 19 century), so I thought he wrote on what he saw: the moral and spiritual gangrene that can overtake a person who chooses to act on greed alone. I also remember noting the workers' struggles and wondering if the class war is over. Oh, well:).
The film proved so memorable, that watching it so many years later in OKO I noticed how many parts were cut from the DVD version; that I found very disappointing. Nevertheless the film withstood the test of time: even with some scenes missing, it is still super interesting portrayal of the city of Lodz in certain historical point - when it was very linguistically and culturally diverse, and when Poland was actually off the map as a country!
And the music! Did I mention the beautiful and haunting music of the film? It deserves a separate post - not living in Poland for so many years I haven't have the chance to hear it often; hearing it now touched me the same way as the first time.