Ten Essential Polish Comedies
Though the censorship was pitiless and even the smallest act of disobedience was quickly and brutally suppressed, many local directors tried to make a difference and fight back with what they did best - promoting resistance movements and making people throughout the country aware of their own nationality and all the values that come with it through judicious and stout-hearted filmmaking.
Movies that were strictly anti-communistic were deemed unwatchable by the GUKPPiW (the institution responsible for controlling and verifying all the official forms of communication in Poland, i.e. books, films, press, radio). The others, more subtle and covert, premiered in some cinemas with minor cuts, or if lucky, without any alterations whatsoever. Apart from a huge number of war-related dramas and films that based their core on deeply psychological aspects of the damaged Polish community, the ones that probably got the most attention were comedies.
These harsh satires on Communism and its weaknesses were like a dream come true for all the people who wanted to escape from their grim reality every once in a while by diving into the worlds offered via cinematic experiences. Some comedies simply made fun of the omnipresent absurdities of everyday life (often exaggerated, but for the right cause); others tried to appear as romantic predictions of the upcoming fall of an evil government. The most ironic fact about films made in the state known as the People's Republic of Poland is that what looks amusingly fictional to the modern viewer was downright authentic to the citizens that survived these difficult times.
An ambiguous parody of Communism, Rejs presents the story of a group of passengers that board a ship on the Vistula in order to take a cruise of a lifetime. The excursion reveals the truth about the passengers, their fears and desires, and then transforms it all into one big farce.
Full of slapstick situations and memorable catchphrases, Rejs almost instantly became a cult film. It's crucial to note that most of the actors here were amateurs, giving the film an impressive naturalistic vibe.