Retrospective: BARRIER + HANDS UP!
Barrier is Skolimowski’s third and the most acclaimed of his early films. A university graduate leaves a cold campus for a new life armed with a suitcase, a coin he won from a friend, and the old sword given by his father. It is a film about two generations who have different feelings about the war; the older generation keeps imposing their emotions on the young, like passing on the sword once used in battles.
Hands Up! / Ręce do góry
Censored by the Polish authorities Hands Up! can be seen as a direct provocation for change. The film begins with a sci-fi motif: abstract images and electronic music. Then the viewer is taken from the ruins of Lebanon back into the past, featuring a score of Polish actors in a setting resembling Kantor’s experimental theatre. The story is a probing investigation of a group of young physicians who recall their university days during the Stalinist period while meeting at a class reunion. Originally completed in 1967, the film was not released in the West until 1981 after Skolimowski reedited it and added new colour footage.
Year of production
Polish (English subtitles)