WITH THE UPHEAVALS in the former Eastern bloc countries, there has emerged a large body of films that until recently were banned from exhibition Interrogation, like Jin Menzel's Larks On A String (screening at this year's Festival), is one such film It was banned before even being released, and was seen for the first time in Poland in the autumn of 1989.
Interrogation was made during the shortlived Solidarity movement of 1980 to 1981, but was banned for being "anti-socialistic" when martial law was introduced in 1981 It is reportedly the only Polish film ever made without the consent of the Ministry of Culture In spite of the wishes of the authorities, the film was widely seen on video and became something of an underground film within Poland.
Set in 1951, Bugajski's film sets out to show the repressive tactics of Stalinism through the story of a cabaret performer arrested for no apparent reason Tonia (played by Krystyna Janda who was seen in Wajda's Man Of Marble and Man Of Iron) is tortured, but refuses to confess to trumped-up anti-government offences or to testify against her friends Bugajski believes that the film was seen by the authorities as a threat as it impersonates somebody who proves a winner "She succeeded in what every Polish man and woman was dreaming about," he says
Interrogation deserves to be seen not just by virtue of its banning or its historical value It triumphs as a work of cinema, as a faithful variation on the idea of a good person enduring a bad world and emerging unscathed
- Krystyna Janda, Winner Best Actress Cannes 1990