Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Adapted from Stanislaw Wyspianski's turn-of-the-century play, The Wedding, or Wesele embodies a poetic exploration of Polish society in a crucial period during the mid-19th century when Poland had disappeared as a nation and was split three ways. Drenched in specifically Polish symbolism, it is not an easy film to understand. Much of the dialogue is in verse, the actors are made up in an exaggerated fashion indicating their mythical status, and the scenes are filmed in a hallucinatory style. The tale - based on real events - concerns the wedding of an intellectual poet and a peasant girl from Bronowice. At an ever-stranger celebratory gathering, the bridegroom's friends dance, imbibe spirits, and mourn Poland's subdivision into Prussia, Austria and Russia. The groom, his artist friend and a belletrist are visited by spirits from Poland's past; later, a prophet charges the bridegroom with responsibility to "arm the peasants and prepare for a revolution," though his words are then unveiled as a ruse. Variety wrote of the film, "Average audiences will be hard-pressed to piece together all the different threads and illusions... it is beyond non-Polish comprehension... though... [it is] beautifully filmed and acted."
class-consciousness, couple, haunted, marriage, past, peasant, poet, wedding