Time Out says

Bugajski's horrifying film was originally banned under martial law. When cabaret artiste Tonia (Janda) is imprisoned without explanation, she assumes there has been a bureaucratic slip-up. Gradually, however, it becomes clear she is there for a reason: betrayal. Days become months. The monotonous deprivation of the prison cell is varied only by the persuasion, intimidation and torture of interrogation, but Tonia will not break. If, in a sense, this is a period film twice over - made in '82, set in '51 - its impact is as current as it ever was, and its allegorical implications have proved prophetic: the trajectory is very much freedom through fortitude and perseverance. Drained of colour, largely without music, resolutely intimate, it makes for a harrowing couple of hours, but the shifting power-plays between Tonia and her inquisitors are subtly conveyed, while the nuances distinguishing subjective and objective guilt inevitably suggest Kafka and Orwell.


Release details

116 mins

Cast and crew

Ryszard Bugajski
Ryszard Bugajski
Krystyna Janda
Adama Ferencego
Agnieszka Holland
Janusz Gajos
Anna Romantowska