The hero is a retired miner who stubbornly refuses to vacate his home for a new high-rise block. Everyone else has gone, but the old man remains, a last outpost defending tradition, family and freedom. And just to complicate matters, he is stoutly backed by his son, a bead from the same rosary. The relevance to the Gdansk strikes of 1980 is obvious; and an ironic ending, demonstrating the crafty compromises which can undermine rebellion, is a bitter footnote to the Polish situation. An impressive film, therefore, full of dogged humanist spirit, but also lumbering along in flat, documentary style, emerging a little like a cross between Ealing comedy and Italian neo-realism.
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