Opowiesci weekendowe
Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi has spent the better part of the last 50 years using movies to wrangle with the deep questions of self. In the process, he's provided a model for a generation of compatriots, including the late Krzysztof Kieslowski. But Kieslowski surpassed his mentor, creating internationally acclaimed films of astonishing resonance and philosophical subtlety, like The Decalogue and the "Three Colors" trilogy. Zanussi is held in less regard by the global cineastes who are aware of him, perhaps because his work is less stylish and nuanced than Kieslowski's. Zanussi's Weekend Stories has been compared to The Decalogue, in that both projects were produced for Polish television, and both present a series of brief narratives in which unrelated characters face spiritual crises, but Zanussi's mini-movies are merely good TV, not good cinema. The eight episodes of Weekend Stories, which aired between 1996 and 2000, take place in post-Cold War Poland, among various city dwellers who often travel to the same country house for recreation and soul-searching.

3xDVD9 | PAL 4:3 | 440 min | 18 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Polish
Subtitles: English, Polish
Genre: Drama

In his magnum opus Weekend Stories Zanussi provided a masterful exploration of moral dilemmas and spiritual crises in everyday existence, through 8 thematically connected made-for-TV episodes. Set in post-Communist Poland, memories and remnants from recent past, and socio-economic volte face towards materialism, formed a key aspect, thus making this perceptive, evocative and reflective work a political and a personal exercise, with strong undercurrents of Catholicism.

In A Woman’s Business, an emotionally fractured lady (Joanna Szczepkowska) attempts to find closure for the wrongs done 15 years back by a callous government official (Magdalena Zawadzka); Little Faith chronicled the crisis of faith experienced by a rationalist man (Maciej Orlos) and his highly religious wife (Dorota Segda) as they await the medical test results of their son; Soul Sings narrated the conflict faced by a struggling opera singer (Jacek Laszczkowski) when asked for help by his elderly neighbour that might put his professional breakthrough at risk; in Deceptive Charm, a university teacher (Maciej Robakiewicz), propelled by his dissatisfied wife (Katarzyna Herman), faces the lure of quick financial gains when offered employment by a wealthy degenerate (Zbigniew Zapasiewicz); Unwritten Law illustrated the moral pangs experienced by a married young chauffeur (Piotr Szwedes) after he succumbs to the seduction by his attractive employer (Krystyna Janda), upon witnessing her ruthless opportunism; in The Last Circle, a renowned but ageing ballet dancer (Daniel Olbrychski) faces the tussle between cold professionalism and conscience when reluctantly united after many years with his beautiful ex-wife (Olga Sawicka); Dilatory Line portrayed how suspicions of his fiancee’s (Monika Kwiatkowska) affair with his colleague takes precedence over the professional judgements of a TV producer (Bartosz Opania); and The Hidden Treasure presented an aged former aristocrat’s (Maja Komorowska) homecoming to reclaim certain family belongings.

Diverse psyches and emotions – vengeance, greed, lust, obsession, jealousy, forgiveness, narcissism, humility, ethics, abandonment and compassion – were exquisitely used in painting layered portraits of contemporary Polish life, with the irreparable scars of history serving as a brooding backdrop, in this compelling, luminously photographed mosaic.

Download Opowiesci weekendowe / Weekend Stories: Damski interes / A Woman's Business (1996), Slaba wiara / Little Faith (1997), Dusza spiewa / The Soul Sings (1997), Urok wszeteczny / Deceptive Charm (1998), Ostatni krag / The Last Circle (1998), Linia opozniajaca / Dilatory Line (1998), Niepisane prawa / Unwritten Law (1998), Skarby ukryte / The Hidden Treasure (2000) 3 x DVD9: