|CAMOUFLAGE (Barwy Ochronne) (director: Krzysztof Zanussi; screenwriter: Tadeusz Wybult; cinematographer: Edward Klosinski; editor: Urszula Sliwinska; music: Wojciech Kilar; cast: Piotr Garlicki (Jaroslaw Kruszynski), Zbigniew Zapasiewicz (Jakub Szelestowski), Christine Paul-Podlasky (Nelly Livington-Pawluk), Mariusz Dmochowski (Provost), Magdalena Zawadzka (Mariola), Wojciech Alaborski (Kiszewski), Joanna Pacula (Student), Eugeniusz Priwieziencew (Konrad Raczyk); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: NR; Clavis Films/PAL format DVD; 1977-Poland-in Polish with English subtitles)|
youthful idealism is crushed by the university
by Dennis Schwartz
Zanussi ("The Soul Sings"/"Revisited"/"Black
Sun") directs a landmark Polish film about the
generation gap, the conflict between an older cynical
and manipulative professor and his naive
liberal-minded younger more forthright colleague, and
about the workings of the power structure within a
university. The pic explores how youthful idealism is
crushed by the university system, as Zanussi
and writer Tadeusz Wybult take
swings at both the self-righteous students, the
evil powers and the weak faculty that curry favor
with the powers. The pettiness of
bureaucracy is played out against an academic
background. For foreigners, there are situations that
arise that only those familiar with the politics of
the Polish university might get the nuances.
bucolic palatial setting, a Polish university holds a
summer seminar for linguistic students. At the seminar
the newly appointed 26-year-old Professor Kruszynski
is in conflict with the camp supervisor, the veteran
Professor Szelestowski (Zbigniew
Zapasiewicz), over his
power-trip attitude toward the students.
The select students and faculty are there to vacation
and award a prize to a paper on linguistics, which
will be chosen by a faculty jury.
Prof. K. flirts with the sexy English exchange student Nelly Livington-Pawluk (Christine Paul-Podlasky), is alarmed when told by Prof. S that the Provost (Mariusz Dmochowski) cribbed his doctorate and is disappointed when a mediocre paper is chosen the winner by the jury of faculty. Tensions rise when the crazed student winner (Eugeniusz Priwieziencew) bites the ear of the Provost at the ceremony and when K. doesn't get him kicked out of the camp as requested by the Provost and the police must do it, the fair-haired young professor loses favorite treatment with the Provost.
REVIEWED ON 12/25/2013 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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