By : Andrzej Munk

With : Edward Dziewonski, Barbara Polonska, Kazimierz Opalinski
Pologne, 1958, PAL, 4/3 - 85 mn
zone 2, N&B, mono

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English Title: HEROISM
Original Title: EROICA

Directed by : Andrzej Munk
With : Edward Dziewonski, Barbara Polonska, Kazimierz Opalinski

Poland, 1958, PAL, 4/3, 85 mn
zone 2, Black and White, mono

EROICA was planned to contain three parts, but ultimately the director decided not to include the third part titled "Con Bravura", based on J.S. Stawinski's short story ZAKONNICA (the Nun), seeing it as being weaker artistically. The premiere took place in 1972 on Polish Television.
He initially tried to avoid underground training to avoid the Warsaw uprising. His drunkenness, disregard for safety and cowardice when sober stated with humorous effect come out as something sane in the world gone mad. His will to survive is more acceptable than any desire for heroic death. The second novel, "Ostinato lugubre", details a hopeless attempt at escape from a prison camp by a man who can no longer stand the confinement and idiocy of the professional soldiers trying to keep up the military preneses in prison. Nevertheless, his escape boosts the morale of his fellow prisoners, while the "escapee" lies hidden from Germans and comrades alike.

Andrzej Munk presents a clever, engaging, and insightful satire on duty, courage, and heroism in EROICA. By correlating the sensoral tone of an orchestral symphony to the idolatry and heroic myth associated with the Warsaw Uprising, Munk reflects the solidarity and strength of character of ordinary people in times of profound national uncertainty. The animated and jovial first movement becomes a leitmotif for Gorkiewicz's hedonism, trepidation, and instinct for self-preservation that assists in his safe passage as a courier for the resistance. Similarly, the somber and threnodic second movement proves to be an elegy for the idealization of a war hero. Inevitably, EROICA demystifies the quixotic, archetypal image of heroism and martyrdom to reveal the underlying dignity and and perseverance of the human struggle for nationalism, autonomy, independence, and self-determination.

Awards: 1959 - Warsaw Mermaid Polish Film Critics' Award for best Polish feature film of 1958, 1st Mar del Plata International Film Festival, film critics' award with a special mention for the director, FIPRESCI award and award for the best festival set of films together with Jerzy Passendorfer's ZAMACH (ANSWER TO VIOLENCE)