A product of the 'X' film unit under Andrzej Wajda: one of the 'missing ten' films, banned at the time for their unsympathetic view of life in Poland. It follows the efforts to keep together, and to find venues for gigs, of a group of young, mainly 'middle class' (traditional) jazz buffs and musicians. The period is the years leading up to, and immediately following, Stalin's death in 1953: jazz is seen by the authorities as 'Western bourgeois immoralism', and the only music officially sanctioned is either martial music or dire folk songs. This group prefer listening to Charlie Parker on the Voice of America, setting up crazy jam sessions in attics etc, but their energy is finally sapped by the revelations that follow the deaths, first of 'Uncle Joe' and then, tragically, one of their company. Falk offers no searing cultural or political analysis here, but an informative and likeable depiction of growing up under Stalin's dark shadow.
Cast and crew