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Kanal
Kanal
Actors: Teresa Izewska, Tadeusz Janczar, Wienczyslaw Glinski, Tadeusz Gwiazdowski, Stanislaw Mikulski
Director: Andrzej Wajda
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
NR     2003     1hr 31min

KANAL begins on the 56th day of the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis. A ragtag group of untrained Resistance fighters hold the frontline. They try to live a relatively normal life, and even play the piano. They achieve...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Teresa Izewska, Tadeusz Janczar, Wienczyslaw Glinski, Tadeusz Gwiazdowski, Stanislaw Mikulski
Director: Andrzej Wajda
Creators: Jerzy Lipman, Halina Nawrocka, Jerzy Stefan Stawinski
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Military & War
Studio: Polart
Format: DVD - Black and White - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 11/18/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 31min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: German, Polish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

The Polish way....
Glenn R. Urbanas | Richmond Hill, New York USA | 02/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"An indescribably wrenching war tragedy depicting the destruction of a group of freedom fighters in the ruins of Warsaw in the last year of WW II.A year after the Warsaw ghetto is crushed, the Polish resistance, learning that Soviet armies are approaching the city and that the allies have landed in Normandy, order the long-awaited uprising against the Nazis. The battle goes on for 63 days while Stalin halts his army in the suburbs to allow the SS to systematically eliminate the last Polish patriots.The film depicts the last few days of the uprising. Wajda introduces the varied men and women who make up one resistance group - their ambitions, their loves, their individuality, their vitality, in a context of extreme stress. After a heroic defense of their district, the survivors are ordered into the sewers - the 'Kanal' - to escape the pocket in which they've become trapped. Their captain knows they are doomed yet hopes to save at least the company records for posterity. Before descending, he stoically shares a last cigarette with another group leader. 'You know this fight is pointless, don't you?' 'Yeah... it's the Polish way.' The second half of the film depicts their final trial of courage in the sewers - where a subterranean Passion and an anonymous Golgotha awaits them. As the fighters, one by one, slip into a manhole behind a street barricade, they leave behind the rear guard - a twelve year old boy wearing boots way too big for him who cooly checks his rifle in preparation for his solitary defense of this last barrier. Beyond the pile of bricks and furniture a Tiger tank lurches inexorably forward like a threshing machine.This film manages to scorch a lasting hole in one's soul."
One of the most powerful movies I've seen in 30 years.
Glenn R. Urbanas | 03/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first saw this movie 30 years ago--and feared looking at the video because I though it might not be as great as I remembered it. It's even better. Powerful tales of how peoplel change, for better or worse, under great adversity. Though many of the people come to bleak ends, the movie is not depressing or blackhearted. It's greatest moral lesson, for me, is that courage must be coupled with wide-eyed realism and stamina when the odds are against you. The image that has stayed with me for 30 years: the woman helping the wounded, feverish man through the sewer who reminds him that he's walking through shit and to keep on going when he begins to hallucinate about how beautiful things are."
Striking Film
R. Albin | Ann Arbor, Michigan United States | 08/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Kanal focuses on a small group of Polish resistance fighters during the Warsaw uprising of 1944. Intended to last for a few days and to enable the Soviet Army to enter Warsaw, the uprising lasted for weeks while the Red Army did little to assist the Poles and was eventually crushed by the Germans. This film is based on an actual episode of the uprising, the escape from encirclement of a significant number of resistance fighters by fleeing through the sewers of Warsaw. Wajda follows a company of fighters into the sewers and explores their disparate fates. In Wajda's hands, this episode becomes a metaphor for the whole Polish experience in WWII; brutal, valiant, deadly, profoundly humiliating but characterized by an unceasing pursuit of hope. With fine cinematography and excellent acting, this is a gripping film."
One of the giants war films in any age!
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 08/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Kanal is a grim , sad and powerful drama of Polish patriots who use the servers of Warsaw in an attempt to escape from the Nazis during the uprising of 1944 .
In the middle of this unbeatable tragedy you can watch different voices and attitudes . The somber pianist playing Chopin , and other characters literally struggled for this opressive atmosphere . Wajda made his masterpiece , unrelieved in intensity and fierce .
A thousand carats gem . Disturbing and haunting work of the polish cinema ."