Five from Barska Street

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After a five-year absence from the Polish film industry (he spent the time as head of the prestigious Lodz film school), director Aleksander Ford made a triumphant return with Five From Barksa Street. Essentially a juvenile-delinquent drama, the film records the trials and tribulations of five street kids who rebel against the exigencies of the recent war and the economic deprivations of the postwar era. Though they've been given a pass by a compassionate parole officer, the boys return to their life of petty crime. Eventually, however, they become worthwhile members of "the state" by turning against a nasty gangster boss. Despite its propagandistic overtones, Five from Barska Street is a vivid and realistic slice-of-life melodrama, and as such completely worthy of its 1954 Cannes Film Festival award. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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