The Reverse

This 2010 Seattle International Film Festival entry from Poland (English captions) was unpredictable, funny and highly entertaining, with many laugh-out-loud moments. The film is shot mostly in black and white, which allows the director to integrate newsreels of 1952 Warsaw, so we see actual post-war construction projects, Communist parades, and political events.

We start our story in 1952, the secret police are everywhere, life is bleak, people are ultra-careful in their behavior and we meet three women. One skinny gal works in the poetry division of the national publishing bureau; she lives with her mother, a pharmacist whose business was closed by the Communist regime; and her ailing grand- mother, who is desperate for her granddaughter to get married and have children...SOON!

Our gawky heroine, eyeglasses glittering, is painfully shy. We meet a couple of her clueless would-be suitors, invited by her scheming mother because she too, is frantic to see her daughter married. When our gal is accosted by a pair of ruffians on a dark street one evening, she is rescued by a handsome stranger who is almost too good to be true. Sure enough, he begins to court her, to the delight of the older women.

Now things get unpredictable and involving. We root for our three resourceful women, even though we know the odds are stacked against them. We had great fun!