Meta (1971)

Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - Poland  |  
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This is another Polish political satire that was held back for 10 years after its completion in 1971 because of its content. The settings, gestures, deadpan reactions, non-action, and black-and-white film convey a sense of the "going nowhere" atmosphere of a poverty-stricken couple in a small town. The man (Henryk Hunko) and wife (Asia Lumtiugina) have to take in a boarder (Witold Pyrkosz) to make ends meet, and he sleeps in the kitchen while they sleep in the living room with their two children. Their boarder, a former school mate of the husband, is really a con artist who can talk his way into and out of almost any situation. He is making the circuit of these small towns, setting up rigged card games to bilk as many of the unwitting players as he can. The husband and wife are respectable people, but the con artist can go either way. On the one hand, he manages to seduce the wife - though she later rejects him totally - and on the other, he gets a job for the husband via his "conning" talents, and also shows patience in the extreme when he tries to teach him how to use an elevator. It is the interaction between the principals and the unstated truths that carry the story of this brief visit to an impoverished family of four and their unlikely guest. Director Antoni Krauze won the Silver Lion award at the 1981 Gdansk Film Festival for this film.

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Keywords

boarding-house, con/scam, poor-family, poverty, seduction, uninvited-guest