A film not seen outside Poland until 1986 because of its pro-Solidarity stance. It opens with its hero (Radziwilowicz) explaining that he is already dead; he spends his time, unseen, patiently observing the actions of his wife, child and lawyer colleagues, and just occasionally intervening from his spirit world. He was a lawyer who specialised in representing victims of Poland's martial law, but now he watches helpless as one of his clients is persuaded by his survivors to renounce his principles in order to remain free. Interwoven in the knotty debates on law, freedom and realpolitik, is the growing despair of his wife, who discovers too late that she loved him more than she thought. Western cinema has the luxury of being politically apathetic if it wishes; it is heartening to find that a film burning with a passionate engagement with the system can still emerge from a closed world. And one, moreover, which still has space for tenderness, quiet, and an excursion into the realms of the spirit. CPea.