Man of Marble

1976 Polish movie

Rating: 15/20

Plot: A female film student works on her dissertation, a documentary about Birkut, a Polish bricklayer used in propagandii as a Socialist symbol. It's a swift rise and a painful fall, the filmmaker discovers as she interviews individuals from his past and searches for Birkut himself.

This is really long and as dry as marble, so a lot of patience is required. I suppose this could be a case where the movie is much better than I think it is, but I'm not Polish and I'm not a Communist and I'm not opposed to Socialism and therefore lack the context for this to make complete sense to me. I'm not qualified to write about most of the movies I write about, but I'm even less qualified to write about something like this. It do kind of like the structure, an almost Citizen Kane-esque gradual unveiling of a character. Except there's no sled. The scenes with the director aren't terribly exciting, but I do really like how much fake news footage, propaganda films, and other footage is mixed in. The stuff looks authentic, and the guy who plays the titular man does a really good job. It really gives it a sort of fake-documentary feel and a different flavor. So did the soundtrack, reminiscent of 70's blaxploitation funk. Some of the music is so bad that I'm sure there wouldn't be a lot of people who would oppose removing it and replacing it with something better. I'm far too lazy to look it up, but I do wonder how a movie this critical was even allowed to be created and shown to people.

Special shane-movies trivia: This is easily the least humorous Polish movie I've ever seen.

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