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Bad Luck
Zezowate szczęście
dir. Andrzej Munk / Poland 1960 / 107’
subtitles: English

Cast

Bogumił Kobiela, Maria Ciesielska, Helena Dąbrowska, Kwiatkowska, Krystyna Karkowska, Barbara Połomska, Irena Stalończyk, Bartosik, Henryk Bąk, Mariusz Dmochowski, Aleksander Dzwonkowski, Edward Dziewoński, Tadeusz Janczar, Stanisław Jaworski, Andrzej Krasicki, Wojciech Lityński, Kazimierz Opaliński, Jerzy Pichelski, Adam Pawlikowski, Wojciech Siemion, Jan Tadeusz Stanisławski, Tadeusz Waczkowski, Karolina Borchardt, Zbigniew Cynkutis, Jerzy Dobrowolski, Stanisław Dygat, Jakub Goldberg, Wiesław Gołas, Maria Kaniewska, Roman Kłosowski, Henryk Kucharski, Zdzisław Leśniak, Zygmunt Listkiewicz, Potocki, Mirosława Marcheluk, Józef Nowak, Leopold Rene Nowak, Czesław Piaskowski, Leonard Pietraszak, Wojciech Pokora, Roman Polański, Sylwester Przedwojewski, Sława Przybylska, Ryszard Ronczewski, Witold Sadowy, Witold Skaruch, Wojciech Skibiński, Kazimierz Stankiewicz, Kazimierz Wilamowski, Ewa Wiśniewska, Danuta Wodyńska, Stanisław Wyszyński

awards

Edinburgh IFF 1960 – Special Mention; Warsaw Mermaid – Polish Film Critics’ Award for Best Polish Feature Film of 1960

Film description

Munk once again examines the impact of political systems and society on the individual. The narrator and central character of this bittersweet story, Jan Piszczyk (one of actor Bogusław Kobiela’s memorable roles), attempts to embody successive prevailing ideologies in attempt to conform at all costs. However, his attempts are so artificial and ill-timed that they inevitably fail. Piszczyk considers himself a victim of misfortune, but Munk shows that all his bad luck is, above all, a consequence of his conformism. Munk is merciless towards enduring myths and stereotypes attached to interwar Poland, WWII and Socialist propaganda.

The movie is stylistically diverse, interlacing comedy with elements of drama, changing styles to suit particular scenes, as when Piszczyk’s childhood is presented as an old silent film.

The film polarised opinion when it premiered: some saw the main character as a victim of history, others as an opportunist; for some he was heart-breaking, for others – deplorable. Today, Munk’s everyman character still evokes laughter, sympathy and exasperation – not least because everyone is sure to recognise a little bit of themselves in him.

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