Flipper Campbell | Miami Florida | 08/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Scar" (1976) was Krzysztof Kieslowski's first feature, made as he decided to abandon documentaries for less risky fiction. Veteran Polish actor Franciszek Pieczka plays "an honest man in the system" charged by the party with building a fertilizer plant in a rural town. Kieslowski reportedly considered "The Scar" a failure -- despite Pieczka's fine work, the elegant script and the telling cinematography of Slawomir Idziak ("Black Hawk Down"). Kieslowski's art "was not yet metaphysical," longtime soundman Michal Zarnecki says in one of the extras interviews. The color images (full frame, enhanced for widescreen TVs) and sound are adequate. Subtitles are clear. This is one of four recent additions to Kino's Kieslowski collection -- along with "No End," "Camera Buff" and "Blind Chance" -- all of which show that the Polish master's writing and directing skills arrived almost fully formed when he turned to feature films. Each of the films benefits from a powerful central performance. They are products of the 1970s and '80s, a time of vast sociopolitical changes in Poland, but are not timepieces or simplistic attacks on the communists. Highly recommended despite the director's reservations."