Leave No Traces
Cert: 15 Year: 2021 Length: 160 mins Language: Polish
Cinema Handout (PDF 225KB)
Score: 78.98% Attendance: 48
Based on a true story from Communist Poland in 1983 when the Warsaw police beat to death an 18-year-old student and then covered this up right to the highest level of government. Whilst possibly hard to believe for us then, it seems a lot more believable with the recent swathe of police violence in the USA.
"It begins in high spirits, with two pals larking about in a Warsaw square, Grzegorz (Mateusz Górski) and Jurek (Tomasz Ziętek); when police demand to see the pair's ID, Grzegorz refuses – he knows his rights. His mum is Barbara Sadowska, a poet and outspoken critic of the communist government. At the station, he is brutally beaten up. At one point an older officer intervenes to berate a rookie for booting him in the back. Go for the stomach he barks: 'It leaves no marks.' Grzegorz dies two days later" – Cath Clarke, Guardian.
The state rushes in to try anything to cover this up, to leave no traces of the incident, but Jurek has seen it all and refuses to keep quiet...
This is director Jan P. Matuszynski's third film, having previously made a documentary and a fictional movie; this one falls between the two, giving us documentary-like detail in a John Carrie-like world of grey bureaucrats. The film was chosen as the Polish entry to the Oscars.
Directed with an understandably forensic eye for detail
Hilary A White, Sunday Independent
[A] meticulously detailed thriller... Wendy Ide, Observer
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