Conceived and made with an urgency appropriate to the December 1981 military clampdown on Skolimowski's native Poland, this film is a characteristically oblique and quirky response. Displacement rather than confrontation is the key, with a group of Polish builders busy renovating their boss' London house when the axe falls at home. Irons plays their leader, the only English speaker, who is forced into a parody of twisted labour relations when he decides to conceal the news from his co-workers. But the tendency towards allegory is pleasingly offset by an alienated vision of the English daily round: a farcical and surreal mixture of frustration, deception and shoplifting. The result is as much about 'us' as 'them'; and constitutes a quietly disturbing, often sharply amusing, flip side to Wajda's men of marble and iron.
Cast and crew