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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Andrzej Munk: Eroica (1958)

Eroica, made in 1958 by Andrzej Munk, is a courageous movie that demythologizes some sacrosanct taboos of Polish history: the heroes of the anti-Nazi Resistance are just humans, with moral weaknesses. History has put them in heroic situations, against their will, and they try to cope somehow; there is a permanent negotiation between their weakness and the imperative of the moment. In the same time their legend is emerging, against the nude truth, and that is because they need their legends for survival.

The movie is composed of two separate stories: Scherzo Alla Pollacca and Ostinato Lugubre.

The copy of the movie that I found is without subtitles; thus I will give you here the synopsis, as rendered by Wikipedia:

Scherzo Alla Pollacca
The first part is a bitter, tragicomic story of Dzidziuś, a street-wise bon-vivant, drunkard, and coward who unwillingly becomes a soldier in the Home Army during the Warsaw Uprising. Dzidziuś wife Zosia is having an affair with a Hungarian officer stationed nearby, and Dzidziuś is ordered to contact the Hungarian unit and convince the officer to join the battle against the Nazis.

Think for comparison at Wajda's Kanal!

Ostinato Lugubre
The second novel is set in a POW camp for Polish soldiers. Lt. Zawistowski, one of the interned soldiers, decides to make an attempt to escape from the camp. While none of his fellow inmates are sure whether he succeeded, his absence upsets the guards and provides hope and inspiration for the rest of prisoners. Soon his legend grows, making him a hero within the camp and helping to boost the prisoners' morale. However, it turns out that Lt. Zawistowski didn't actually follow through on his escape plans, but is hiding in the attic of one of the barracks. It turns out that he was hiding from his colleagues, whose ostentatious patriotism he simply could not stand.

Eroica: Part 1/8
(video by OldFilmPL)

Eroica: Part 2/8
(video by OldFilmPL)

Eroica: Part 3/8
(video by OldFilmPL)

Eroica: Part 4/8
(video by OldFilmPL)

Eroica: Part 5/8
(video by OldFilmPL)

Eroica: Part 6/8
(video by OldFilmPL)

Eroica: Part 7/8
(video by OldFilmPL)

Eroica: Part 8/8
(video by OldFilmPL)



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