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Poland, 1966 (MIFF 1971, Jerzy Skolimowski Retrospective)

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski

”The moment I accepted the scholarship, I sold myself to the Government - lock, stock and barrel . . . ! And so now I may just as well sell myself to anyone I choose . . . !" These are the first words of the film &ndash a young man suddenly decides to leave behind everything he has been living by for years. He packs his belongings and walks off into the country. Somewhere, sometime, some sort of splendid life is awaiting him...

This film is a symbolic presentation of a young man's travels through Poland; a study of youth and its rebellion against the comfortable barriers of middle age. It is a quest for meaning; an attempt to discard the now outmoded revolutionary ideals and to come to grips with reality.

More objective than Walkover, Barrier presents a sharply observed view of life in the Poland of today. The style is a successful fusion of sober documentation and surrealism, and the hero's progress, bitterness and final disillusionment are dissected with wit and brilliance.

Grand Prix, Bergamo Festival

See also...


Poland, 1967
In The Departure, Jerzy Skolimowski made his first film outside Poland. It was shot in Brussels with a French-speaking cast, and this time, the subtle, moody personality of Jean-Pierre Leaud embodies… More »


Poland, 1964
Andrzej, a university drop-out, wakes up one morning, and after strolling through the streets, walks into an army recruiting office and signs up for military service. He is given two hours to pack hi… More »


Poland, 1965
Walkover, the original Polish title of this film, is an English expression meaning "an easy victory". Though an entity in itself, in a sense this film is a continuation of Skolimowski's earlier film,… More »


Poland, 1970
A Slip-Up bears a number of resemblances to Le Depart (1967), and the reason for this is probably the involvement of Jerzy Skolimowski in the two films. He was director on the latter film, and he has… More »


Poland/Norway/Ireland/Hungary, 2010
"Intriguing and disturbing, made with tremendous confidence and conviction." - Guardian ... Vincent Gallo stars as an unnamed Taliban soldier, captured and flown to a mysterious eastern European coun… More »

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