A Short Working Day (Krotki dzien pracy)
Dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski. 1981, 73 mins. 35mm. With Waclaw Ulewicz, Lech Grzmocinski, Tadeusz Bartosik, Elzbieta Kijowska. Based on reportage of the 1976 strike in Radom, which ended with the regional Party Committee headquarters set aflame, Kieslowski’s made-for-TV hybrid film merges archival materials with a dramatization of organized opposition during a single day of conflict. Shot during the Solidarity period and finished just before the imposition of martial law in 1981, A Short Working Day was not broadcast until 1996, three months after Kieslowski’s death from complications of heart surgery. Preceded by The Photograph (1968, 31 mins.). Made for Polish TV and Kieslowski’s first professional project out of film school, The Photograph is a documentary in which director and crew search for two young boys featured in a photograph taken after the liberation of Warsaw. Though happy in the photo, the now fully grown men present a very different picture two decades on.
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