The Calm (Spokoj)

Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. 1976, 82 mins. Digital projection. With Jerzy Stuhr, Izabella Olszewska, Jerzy Trela. The first collaboration between Kieslowski and beloved actor Jerzy Stuhr, who co-wrote the dialogue with the director. (They would collaborate similarly on Camera Buff.) After his release from jail, Antoni Gralak realizes that there is no place for him in his family. He leaves his hometown of Krakow and finds work on a building site in Silesia, hoping to finally settle into a peaceful existence. He finds and marries a girl, but things get complicated again when his boss tries to recruit him into underhanded dealings. A strike breaks out, and Gralak finds himself torn between his boss and colleagues. Censored because of its depiction of a strike, the film premiered on TV shortly after the founding of the Solidarity movement. Preceded by Underground Passage (1973, 30 mins. 35mm. With Teresa Budzisz-Krzyzanowska, Andrzej Seweryn, Anna Jaraczowna). Despite its documentary look, this short TV drama dealing with a crisis of values is in one of Kieslowski’s earliest narrative films, about a woman who leaves her husband and teaching job in a small town to work as a window dresser in Warsaw.

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