Cud Nad Wisla was the last Polish film by Boleslawski, a stage actor from an early age, who studied under Stanislavsky at the Moscow Art Theater and who began a successful career in Amerika working with famous actors of the time after making this film. Cud Nad Wisla is a remarkable film in spite of the fact that some of the reels are lost forever. The film is in 8 acts but only three of them are available. Still, there is no problem to enjoying Boleslawski's skillful direction.
The film depicts two Polish love stories. The first involves Dame Krysta (Jadwiga Smosarska, a famous Polish actress of that time). She's a daughter of a wealthy landholder, who was brought up by the Granowski family and is in love with Jerzy, elder son of the Granowski's. The second is between Dame Ewa, daughter of a hospital porter and a doctor whom she loves, Jan Powada. It is Christmas Eve and such merry sentiments among those couples will be threatened with the coming of the Bolshevik soldiers. This complicates love matters, but everything finally will end up happily for both couples with the defeat of the Bolsheviks by the Poles at the Battle of Warsaw. The film ends with the wedding of both couples. The film narrative of Cud Nad Wisla is very fluid and ingenious; especially when keeping in mind, that the Polish film industry at that time was not a very important or generally remarkable technically. The picture includes double exposures or the use of different parts of the screen as a substitute of combined close-ups. The story has a certain epic and classic quality, developing superbly the different parts of the story… first in depicting the future plans of those lovers and then showing how the war influenced and affected their lives. The result is a perfectly paced and structured film.
The end of the First World War saw German troops abandoning Wilno (Vilnius). Almost immediately, fighting broke out between Polish irregulars and Bolsheviks, both of whom wanted control of the city (the Lithuanians, who likewise were active at this time, are completely ignored in the film). In Dla Ciebie, Polsko, a recruit leaves the nearby village of Okszyniec to fight the Reds in the Spring of 1919. Soon after, the hapless inhabitants of the town must face the brutality of invading Bolsheviks. Of course, in the end, the Polish army comes to the rescue and the whole region is annexed to the newly born Poland. The Lithuanians weren't too impressed about this: shortly after the Treaty of Riga in 1920 and the firm creation of both the Lithuanian and Polish states, the Lithuanians promptly cut off all ties with Poland; literally and figuratively: highways were terminated at the border; electric lines cut; postal service forbidden between both countries. This sad state of affairs was to continue for a long time during the Interwar period and was not fully resolved until 1945, when the Bolsheviks confirmed Lithuanian hegemony over Vilnius (Wilno) after taking it from the Poles in 1939 and graciously "giving" it to the new Lithuanian SSR.
DVD-R IS SILENT WITH POLISH INTERTITLES AND SWITHCABLE ENGLISH SUBTITLES
QUALITY (of feature film only):
· Sharpness of picture? - Overall, excellent quality
LENGTH OF FEATURE FILM: 40 minutes
LENGTH OF SECONDARY FILM: 45 minutes
PLEASE NOTE THAT SWITCHABLE (SOFT) SUBTITLES WILL NOT SHOW UP WHEN VIEWING THE SAMPLE BELOW. IF YOU SEE SUBTITLES, THEN THEY ARE HARD-ENCODED (meaning, they cannot be turned off when viewing the film):