The Wedding (Wesele) (1973)





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Adapted from Stanislaw Wyspianski's turn-of-the-century play, The Wedding, or Wesele embodies a poetic exploration of Polish society in a crucial period during the mid-19th century when Poland had disappeared as a nation and was split three ways. Drenched in specifically Polish symbolism, it is not an easy film to understand. Much of the dialogue is in verse, the actors are made up in an exaggerated fashion indicating their mythical status, and the scenes are filmed in a hallucinatory style. The tale - based on real events - concerns the wedding of an intellectual poet and a peasant girl from Bronowice. At an ever-stranger celebratory gathering, the bridegroom's friends dance, imbibe spirits, and mourn Poland's subdivision into Prussia, Austria and Russia. The groom, his artist friend and a belletrist are visited by spirits from Poland's past; later, a prophet charges the bridegroom with responsibility to "arm the peasants and prepare for a revolution," though his words are then unveiled as a ruse. Variety wrote of the film, "Average audiences will be hard-pressed to piece together all the different threads and illusions... it is beyond non-Polish comprehension... though... [it is] beautifully filmed and acted." ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
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POLart Distribution Inc.


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Since time immemorial, filmmakers have imagined the uiltimate banquet or party sequence. The irony is that Andrzej Wajda has already nailed it with his film, "The Wedding," about a rambunctious wedding reception in Poland in 1900 that consumes most of the movie's running time. As much as the heightened emotions on display might have to do with the near toxic levels of vodka consumed, a more probable cause is the way people act when they finally have something to celebrate, leading to an all-time classic hangover whose effects will be felt for quite some time. This is also at a time when there is no independent Polish state, Poland having been long consumed by other empires. Just as there is as much foreshadowing to the future of nationalism, there are just as many references to the past, and not just in the way the characters are dressed. One part of the future is the fact that the bride(Ewa Zietek) and groom(Daniel Olbrychski) are from different social classes, a fact once thought unimaginable.

Walter M.
Walter M.

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