Nobody is calling

(Nikt nie woła, 1960)
   One of the most original films made during the Polish School period, directed by Kazimierz Kutz. A polemic along with Ashes and Diamonds, the film focuses on a Home Army (AK) fighter (Henryk Boukołowski) who is hunted by his former colleagues for an act of military disobedience—his refusal to carry out the death sentence on a Communist. He hides after the war in a small town in Poland's western territories. Among other displaced people, wounded by war and with complex backgrounds, he meets a young woman (Zofia Marcinkowska) and falls in love with her. Kutz and his cinematographer, Jerzy Wójcik, strove to challenge the dominant aesthetics of Polish films. The episodic, slow-paced story of Nobody Is Calling is maintained by means of the ascetic, frequently static black-and-white images. The youth and the physical attraction of the two lovers clash with the gloomy atmosphere of the city. Images of dilapidated walls, empty streets and apartments, decaying window frames, and the devastated postwar landscape register the feelings of the two protagonists and function as their psychological landscape. The meticulous composition of frame, the scarcity and repetitiveness of dialogue that is supplemented by the protagonist's voice-over narration, and Wojciech Kilar's original music helped to create the new wave-like style of the film. In the context of highly politicized Polish cinema, its formalist poetics, bordering on aesthetic provocation, caused consternation among film critics and the disapproval of the film authorities. The film had to wait several years to be recognized as a work of art.
   Historical Dictionary of Polish Cinema by Marek Haltof

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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