Tag Archives: crime

“The Mire” (Rojst) by Jan Holoubek / Netflix

Two seasons – the first one is set in 1980’s, the second one in 1997 / more or less 12 years after the first season’s finale ends.
The story is set in an unspecified little town in Western Poland with troubled history.

Andrzej Seweryn plays an experienced journalist on his way out – we learn from the very beginning he has a plan to go West – to West Berlin, in those times the refuge of normalcy behind the Iron Curtain. Conveniently, there is an eager young replacement sent from Kraków.
It is a classic old:young juxtaposition and master:pupil relationship. The script is written in accordance with all the classic rules, the actors are well cast, the stories unfold slowly with each episode drawing us in.

This series has a number of strong suits: one of them is the casting of supporting roles, another a detailed depiction of communist Poland daily reality – similarly to Mad Men, the authors managed to recreate a place in time with almost no mistakes (*there is one minor thing related to what children wear at school, if you went to Polish school in the 1980’s, you will know).

Characters are subtle and distinctive at the same time, the editor-in-chief is like a warm beloved grandpa, until you cross him and then you are in trouble. The night clubs are so sticky and filled with cigarette smoke, you can almost touch it and smell it. It is the underworld of corrupt police (in the 1980’s it was a politicised milicja – derivative of military and police – a communist thing), honest prostitutes and helpful local businessmen.
The crimes are dark, the truth is even darker and the town is surrounded by a mysterious swamp that hides a lot.

Although it did not get a lot of stars at imdb, it is a strong recommend from my side.

Andrzej Seweryn acts seamlessly becoming the character of the savvy puppet master who knows way more than he reveals, till the last second. The suspense is not eating you, you just have to watch it all at once.


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Culture Shock by Steve Balderson (2012) #rdff

Lightweight comedy bringing to mind Scooby Doo group of teenage friends solving criminal mysteries.

Four twenty-something Americans are forced by their parents to visit Europe ‘as adults’. That means they have to deal with issues by themselves rather than ring parents for help, who refuse to pick up their calls.

Realised in a true indie spirit – most of the film was shot on a handheld digital camera. A list of thankyous is quite long – mainly to locations. Apparently the cost of the film did not exceed £3000. And yet, it is a nice dose of entertainment.

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Filed under film reviews, Raindance 2012

Victim by Alex Pillai

Set somewhere in East End where people live in tall soulless block of flats.

A difficult tale of the vicious circle of violence and crime of which once you’re a part of, you will always come back. London is depicted as the city of extreme contrasts between wealth and poverty and how seemingly easy it is to balance on the edge of both extremes. Somehow a rich daddy’s daughter ends up flatsharing with girls who are partners in crime to three blokes burgling into rich guys’ flats & houses wooed by the girls. Somehow the brain master of the crime owns a high standard large flat and drives a ridiculously expensive car and yet his little sister attends a state school, while he copes with old time debts he struggles to pay.

There is no happy ending but there is a final message which brings us back to the title. A victim can also be the perpetrator because he is the victim of the environment. That seems painfully true even without the experience of this film.

Interesting and intertwined script.

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Filed under Film Festivals, film reviews, Raindance 2011