Actor: Karolina Sawka; Adam Fidusiewicz; Artur Zmijewski
Director: Gavin Hood
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy
2004     1hr 51min

W Pustyni i w Puszczy — This internationally acclaimed and award-winning film combines a children's adventure story with the look and feel of Lawrence of Arabia. At the end of the 19th century two kids?children of engineers...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Karolina Sawka; Adam Fidusiewicz; Artur Zmijewski
Director: Gavin Hood
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Comedy
Format: DVD - Color,Letterboxed - Dubbed,Full length,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/02/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 51min
Screens: Color,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Import,Collector's Edition,Special Edition
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

Sienkiewicz's novel on film
Richard J. Brzostek | New England, USA | 12/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In Desert and Wilderness (W Pustyni i w Puszczy) is a great family film based on the novel by Henryk Sienkiewicz. Set in the 19th Century, the movie is filled with adventures in the picturesque landscapes of the African continent. It is a big budget production with great costumes, compelling music and a feel good Disney-like story.

A Polish teenager named Stas and a girl named Nel both have fathers that are engineers working on the Suez Canal. Because of an Islamic holy war, the children are betrayed and kidnapped by their own servant. The children are to be traded in exchange for Islamic captives held by the British. Managing to escape with a young African man and woman, they trek across the continent. Their grand adventure is filled with many obstacles and perils as they quest to return to their fathers.

Compared to Polish cinema in general, what distinguishes "In Desert and Wilderness" is its family friendly nature. Even by American standards, I would say it is rated "PG," something that is not always the case due to cultural differences in what is appropriate for younger viewers. The film does have some mild violence, but it is done in a way that any gruesomeness in kept to a minimum by taking place off-camera. The film may appeal most to children, but adults may find it entertaining as well.

This DVD has several language options. One can watch it in English, Polish or the original audio (Polish and Arabic). English subtitles are also available to help understand the original audio if one doesn't understand those languages but wants to enjoy it in that format. Overall, In Desert and Wilderness is probably one of the best Polish family-friendly films you can get and these language options make it easier for more people to enjoy it.
Charles Blaine Fielding | SEATTLE, WA. USA | 01/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This Polish adventure film is aimed at a family audience. The bad news is that for English language audiences it must use subtitles. And children simply cannot follow a movie with subtitles, even if they are old enough to watch it.

This is too bad, because otherwise the movie has a lot going for it. First, a good story. Based on a novel by a famous Polish author {he wrote "Quo Vadis?"}, it is set in Africa in the 1880s. It deals with the rise of the Madhi whose Islamic uprising retook Kartoum in the Sudan -despite the best efforts of Charlton Heston !

Two European children are caught up in the conflict. Kidnapped, they escape with two native African children and make their way across the desert and widerness to rejoin their fathers. Of course they have numerous dangerous adventures and display pluck before the mandatory happy ending.

The story is well developed, and the filming of the African landscape is well done.

I was especially captivated by the charming little Polish actress, Karolina Sawka, who played 9 year-old "Nel".

If you can overcome the language/subtitle problem this is a well-done movie well worth watching.

Blaine in Seattle."