Review of “Sami Swoi” (1967) UR 80min
April 6th, 2008 by Maxim · 1 Comment · 5,727 Views
The plot: Two quarreling families were expatriated from Eastern Poland (now Belarus) to Western part of Poland that used to be German before the WWII. By accident they end up being settling on neighboring farms again.
The good: This film thrives on exploiting stereotypes, taking it to extreme: two neighboring farmers almost start World War III. Great story and acting.
Many scenes in the film is about [stereotypical] regular farm life – men are drinking, women talk, tend to cows and do household work, and youth is in love. Neighbors become friends and promise each other to share all their belongings, but once they sober up, the rivalry and quarreling resumes.
One important note: Poland lost one out of four people in the war – more then any other country. Krakow, which was a capital of Poland, like Warsaw, was leveled to the ground by bombing. I was surprised that that early after the war there were actually buildings with walls and roofs. This is a comedy, but there’s a scene in the beginning where the farm land that the heroes occupy was full of tanks and unexploded mines. Terrifying… Of course, the heroes come out with ingenious solution.. Also, notice how much trophy weapons the farmers had stashed.
It’s also nice to see so many great Polish actors that I loved. Waclaw Kowalski was in movies for over 40 years, Wladyslaw Hancza – over 30 (he was also in “Stawka wieksza niz zycie” together with Eliasz Kuziemski, Aleksander Fogiel, Kazimierz Talarczyk, Witold Pyrkosz and Jerzy Janeczek – my favorite Polish TV series when I was a kid).
The summary: this is a classic. In my opinion, Poland produced majority of its best movies in the 60s. The film was originally black and white, but color was digitally added for the DVD by Dynex.
- “So, the nation is to be split because of your cat?!”
- Old woman hand a grenade and says, “Court is court, but justice should be on our side”
- Grandfather takes his granddaughter in his arms and says, “There’ll be more of us [Pawlak] then Kargul”.
DVD features: Subtitles in Polish and English. Bonus features are in Polish only and basically consist of filmography and mini-biographies of the creators, photo gallery. There are also some scenes in Black and White to compare to the colorized scenes.
The cast: Kazimierz Pawlak – Waclaw Kowalski | Wladyslaw Kargul – Wladyslaw Hancza | Jasko ‘John’ Pawlak – Zdzislaw Karczewski | Kokeszko – Eliasz Kuziemski | Jadzka Kargul – Ilona Kusmierska | Witia Pawlak – Jerzy Janeczek | Mania Pawlak – Maria Zbyszewska
The credits: Director – Sylwester Checinski | Writer – Andrzej Mularczyk | Original Music – Wojciech Kilar | Cinematography – Stefan Matyjaszkiewicz
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