Jul 11, 2014

(Andrzej Munk, Poland, 1957, DCP, 85 min)

Co-presented with the Seattle Polish Film Festival

Andrzej Munk’s Eroica, an Heroic Symphony in two parts and a masterpiece of the Polish Film School, puts a realist lens to the romantic idea of heroism. Based on a script by Jerzy Stefan Stawiński, Eroica draws on its author’s first-hand experience as a soldier in the September campaign against the invading German army in 1939. Imprisoned in a POW camp, Stawiński escaped, participated in the Warsaw Uprising, and upon its failure was returned to another POW camp. 

Eroica displays the futility of the armed struggle against both Germany and Russia, while exposing the idea of heroic suffering as preposterous. In the film, World War II-era Poland is under Nazi occupation. Two stories offer ambiguous images of war: the absurd life of an average bon-vivant who, against his better judgment, participates in the combat; and righteous Polish officers incarcerated in a German camp. Is there any place for glory in the perilous time of war?

  • Part of our series Martin Scorcese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema! Get a series pass and see all of the series films at a discount: $70 ($40 for Film Forum Members) >

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