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Under The Phrygian Star

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Editorial Reviews

UNDER THE PHRYGIAN STAR is master director Jerzy Kawalerowicz s follow-up to the acclaimed Cellulose. Here Kawalerowicz (Mother Joan of the Angels; Night Train) picks up the character of Szczesny after he has pledged himself to communism. The film follows the struggles of a mature Szczesny as he falls in love for the first time against the backdrop of tension between the Polish government and the labor movement.
Unlike other films of the period, Kawalerowicz offers a multi-dimensional, fully humanized depiction of a true working-class hero. Though a self-contained story in its own right, PHRYGIAN STAR and Cellulose form Kawalerowcz s so-called Cellulose Diptych, which effectively captures the politics and society of prewar Poland with depth and humanity.


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Josef Nowak, Stanislaw Milski, Lucyna Wi
  • Directors: Jerzy Kawalerowicz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: FACETS
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B001DDTDOW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,521 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Jerzy Kawalerowicz's "Under the Phrygian Star" (Pod Gwiazda Frygijska) is the sequel to "Celuloza." It continues the story of Szczesny (Józef Nowak) who we watched slowly become interested in communism in the first part. Now, we see Szczesny become deeply involved with the Communist Party, as well as meet a woman named Madzia and become romantically involved with her. "Under the Phrygian Star" continues the epic story based on Igor Newerly's novel with several twists in plot, a lot of political drama and even a few moments of unforgettable humor.

Many Polish films after World War II had at least a trace of communist sympathy which probably had less to do with the director's political feeling and more to do with pleasing the censor and fitting in. For example, Andrzej Wajda's films are often thought of as having pushed the acceptable limits of the censors as some of them exposed communism in a negative light; but even Wajda had traces of pro-communism thrown in his early work "Samson." Jerzy Kawalerowicz's "Under the Phrygian Star" takes the pro-communist stance much further and makes it one of the central themes of the film. It is quite possible that other directors put on a show and bowed to communism while Kawalerowicz genuinely supported them.

"Under the Phrygian Star" takes place before World War II and portrays the government of the time as one that persecutes communists. Communists meet in secret, work as a group for their cause and get imprisoned when they are caught. It portrays the communists as believing the group consensus is above the individual's ideas and the group is stronger than a person.

I found a few parts of the movie ironic.
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Under The Phrygian Star
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