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Saturday, October 2, 2010

STAJNIA NA SALWATORZE / STALL ON SALVADOR (1967)

This WWII Resistance story from Polish helmer Pawel Komorowski is small-scale, but solid; and might seem even more effective if its over-processed DVD image were sharper. The familiar story follows a group of toughened young resistance fighters who need to eliminate an informer in their midst. Killing off Nazis is one thing, but taking out someone you know, one of your own, is not so easy. Compared to Jean-Pierre Melville’s near-contemporaneous masterpiece on the French Resistance, ARMY OF SHADOWS/’69, this is modest stuff, but the moral complexity of wartime behavior under occupation is given its proper ambiguous due. And, as was often the case with films made behind the Iron Curtain, the struggle between Nazi authority and freedom-loving Polish nationals could safely serve as allegory for political realities of the day.

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