Director: Jacek Bromski
Filip Plawiak, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz, Bozena Adamek, Alicja Bach, Andrzej Beja-Zaborski, Kaja Walden
120 min Comedy Drama Polish with subtitles
Jacek Bromski’s gloriously nostalgic rites of passage road movie takes place a Communist Poland in 1969. Country boy Adam Sikora (Filip Plawiak)is drafted into the Navy to serve at Swinoujscie naval base on the Baltic. With his older and more worldly brother Antoni (Mateusz Kaosciukiewicz) he sets off on the bucolic road to coast from Warsaw in a journey that will change their lives forever.
Despite their easy blokeish bonhomie, tousled blond Adam and darkly charismatic Antoni disagree on everything, especially sex. Travelling mainly by train, they meet up with old friends and new. Antoni certainly knows how to get the girls and is determined to show his kid brother the ways of the world. The tone is light-hearted and fraught with of period details including the Apollo 11 moon landings accompanied by an eclectic sixties soundtrack and even a live rendition of House of the Rising Sun.
When Adam finally breaks his duck, he unintentionally also falls foul of a police officer in an altercation that develops into an ugly situation as he attempts to extricate himself. Almost immediately Bromski ‘s light-hearted comedy shifs in tone into a melodramatic hostage caper which fetches up in edgy Berlin, in a bizarre true-story style ending.
Despite its ill-judged final stages where it ultimately loses its way by the end, it’s the two leads energy and joie de vivre that drive the early narrative forward, particularly Kaosciukiewicz who went on to be a big star on the Polish film scene. MT
Showing 18 May at Kinoteka.org