Wielki Tydzien (1996)

Genres - War  |   Sub-Genres - War Drama, Political Drama  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - Germany, Poland  |  
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Andrzej Wajda, the most acclaimed Polish filmmaker of the post-WWII era, returned from exile to make films again in Poland in the 1990s, including this saga based on the novel by Jerzy Andrzjewski. The English translation is Holy Week, and the film is set during the week before Easter in WWII Poland. Irena Lilien (Beata Fudalej), a young Jewish woman, escapes from the Warsaw ghetto where the Nazis are persecuting Jews and sending them off to extermination. She seeks out her former lover, Jan Malecki (Wojciech Malajkat). Jan and his wife Anna (Magdalena Warzecha), a Catholic who hates the Germans, agree to shelter Irena from the authorities, though in so doing, they are risking their own lives. Jan's younger brother leaves the house and joins the Resistance. Irena chafes at her virtual house arrest and soon attracts the attention of neighbors and a local black-market businesswoman, whose husband tries to rape Irena. Eventually, the leaders of the neighborhood call for Irena to be turned over to the Nazis. The situation boils over, pitting neighbor against neighbor and illustrating how the Nazis drove rifts in the Polish community.



behind-enemy-lines, escape, invasion, rape, refuge, resistance, revenge, shelter