Warsaw Dark

Warsaw Dark


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

You will remain there. By yourself. In the dark. For the duration.

Do not expect clarification. Do not expect the simplicity of understanding. When a man is assassinated, do not ask. When a girl is tortured, do not ask. When a policeman behaves like a criminal, do not ask. This film is like a black hole. Questions are sucked in, yet no answers spat out.

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There is a girl (Anna Przybylska) in a club. She is blonde. And then she’s brunette. Her name is Ojka. She is neither a hostess, nor a prostitute. She is both. Perhaps.

She is ordered to look after a fat, drunk politician. While servicing him in the back seat of a limo, he is shot by a masked man on a motor bike. She screams and runs away, terrified of being implicated. She is followed, tranquilised, brought to an unspecified room, where there is a fridge, full of bottled water, and very little furniture. She is watched by hidden cameras. Her guard is a stony faced prole, with sad eyes, who treats her gently at first and then beats her up. He doesn’t say much. He doesn’t explain what he’s doing, or why he is violent to the girl, or what she’s doing, or why she is still alive, or how the audience is expected to follow the plot when it moves in ever-decreasing circles.

The good guys act like bad guys. The bad guys act like good guys acting like bad guys, which means you don’t know who is good and who is bad and quite soon it doesn’t matter, because nothing makes sense unless, of course, this is not a film about organised crime’s control over the city but the intelligence, detection and security services control over the city. In fact, there may not be any bad guys because the good guys are bad and that seems enough to be getting on with and the girl is neither one thing, nor the other. She was used unwittingly in the setting up of a murder and now she’s a kidnap victim, or has been arrested and is there because she’s dressed like a tart and has become, amongst this group of ugly, viscous, dark suited males, a sex object.

In Warsaw, in the night, there are wheels within wheels, conspiracy after conspiracy, killings not kisses and a disturbing thought that nothing follows nothing down a spiral of enquiry that stretches to the end of reason.

Reviewed on: 22 Jun 2008
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A night club dancer becomes embroiled in a political assassination.

Director: Christopher Doyle

Writer: Maciej Pisarek

Starring: Anna Przybylska, Leslaw Zurek, Violetta Arlak, Jan Frycz, Adam Ferency, Jacek Poniedzialek, Lukasz Simlat, Jerzy Bonczak, Jan Frycz

Year: 2008

Runtime: 87 minutes

Country: Poland


EIFF 2008

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