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The Old Fairy Tale: When the Sun Was God
The Old Fairy Tale When the Sun Was God
Actors: Bogdan Stupka, Malgorzata Foremniak, Michal Zebrowski, Daniel Olbrychski
Director: Jerzy Hoffman
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
UR     2009     2hr 15min

THE OLD FAIRY TALE, the long-awaited film from veteran director Jerzy Hoffman, features a cast of renowned Polish stars, including Daniel Olbrychski (Decalogue; Pan Tadeusz), Jerzy Trela (Angel in Love; Pan Tadeusz; Three ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Bogdan Stupka, Malgorzata Foremniak, Michal Zebrowski, Daniel Olbrychski
Director: Jerzy Hoffman
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Fantasy
Studio: MGE
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/23/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2003
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 2hr 15min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
Edition: Import
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Polish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A fantastic movie about an old Polish legend
Richard J. Brzostek | New England, USA | 01/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Old Fairy Tale: When the Sun Was God (Stara Basn: Kiedy Slonce Bylo Bogiem) may not be the best title as far as telling us what the movie is about other than it will have a pagan element. Jerzy Hoffman, who brought us the trilogy from the 17th century, presents us with one of Poland's oldest legends on film -- the story of Popiel. This a story from Poland's prehistory pagan time; a story that has been told and re-told, and Hoffman does a fantastic retelling of the story on film.

The story could be summarized by saying Popiel is an evil and oppressive ruler that uses force unjustly on neighboring people. The people unit and make an effort to overthrow him. Of course, there is a love story in there too with titillating magical spells to help that effort along.

The movie is well done -- from the eerie music to the fierce battles. There are also rituals and pagan dances that left me in awe thinking this was how Poland was like back then. We also see the Vikings, who battle the pre-history Poles. Oddly, some of the Vikings carry Draco standards resembling the type Sarmatian horsemen carried some 500 years earlier while in Roman service. The battle scenes are comparable in realistic special effects and sheer brutality with other historical films such as Braveheart.

About half of the cast from Hoffman's Ogniem i Mieczem star in Stara Basn. Michal Zebrowski plays a lead role again and you are sure to recognize several other faces. Of those not in Ogniem i Mieczem is Malgorzata Foremniak, who plays Popiel's wife and is one of my favorite Polish actresses.

Stara Basn is an exceptional Polish film that has it all with action, battles, romance and interesting costumes. The movie also has its cultural aspect, as it is based on a classic Polish legend. If you enjoy historical movies you have to watch this one.
Long and Boring
BASHA | ILLINOIS | 11/24/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I thought this was like Braveheart after reading other reviews, on Amazon and elsewhere. My family name is Popiel and I was very interested in the story of the King Popiel. I didn't learn much. It assumes you already are familiar with the story, so not a lot of attention to detail. The film is in three segments, apparently this was broadcast on Polish TV as a mini-series. The acting is overdone, the special effects reminded me of an episode of Power Rangers. The cinematography was good and that was about it. Three stars is as high as I go, it was OK."
The Legend is alive and so are the Gods!
Barbara Witke | Tampa Bay, FL | 08/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Appease the Gods and you shall score! Oops, I gave away the ending ;)) Seriously though, considering the fact that it's so hard to find any decent historical data about Poland's past prior to the year 956, I think this movie has portrayed the legend quite nicely. Personally, I would have been even happier if the ancient Slavic beliefs were elaborated a bit more.

At times, the movie may seem a wee bit too graphic to sensitive viewers. Being born and raised in Poland, I grew up on Polish cinematography, so I'm somewhat used to the bloody battle scenes in historical films. However, I have a hunch that most viewers won't mind the other specialty of Polish film makers, the nudie scenes ;))

Its historical value aside, it's a primordial "boy meets girl" story, and it has a happy ending as all proper fairytales should ;)) What can I say, I love my epic sagas... Enjoy!"
Rousing adventure
Straelbora | USA | 08/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Based upon an 19th century novel, "The Old Fairy Tale: When the Sun was God" is unfortunately clumsily titled. It's loosely the historical tale of Popiel, a cruel local ruler, and Ziemowit, a hero who 'saves the day.' Against the backdrop of Pagan Poland, with Viking mercenaries and damsels in distress, it's a good tale with very nice production qualities. Anyone who enjoys a film with sword-swinging action will like this film, even if the hero reminds him too much of Drew Carey's friend Oswald (Diedrich Bader)."