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Róza / Rose
Poland / 2011 / 94 mins / In Polish with English subtitles
Directed by Wojciech Smarzowski
This riveting period drama reveals a little-known chapter of Polish history: the post-WWII persecution of the Mazurians, indigenous residents of what is now northeastern Poland. Boasting strong direction and impeccable performances, it is a tragic tale of war and survival that bears comparison to masterworks such as Elem Klimov’s Come And See. A prologue set during the failed 1944 Warsaw uprising establishes the film’s tone of savagery alleviated by flashes of tenderness as Tadeusz, a wounded Home Army officer, witnesses the rape and murder of his wife, a nurse. After kissing her brutalized corpse, he dresses in civilian clothes, hoping to leave death and destruction behind. But the retreating Germans lay waste to everything in their path while the advancing Russians pillage and plunder. Tadeusz finds sanctuary on the farm of attractive Mazurian widow Rose, a woman who has been raped so many times that it has destroyed her health, but not her spirit. Drawn together by their sorrows, Tadeusz and Rose form a protective bond that unexpectedly matures into a deep and tender love. (Palm Springs International Film Festival).
Contains graphic war violence