|Richard Brzostek - 04/04/2008
"Sami Swoi" (Our Folks) is a classic 1967 Polish comedy about two feuding families, the Pawlaks and the Karguls. This DVD is the colorized version of the movie (it was originally in black and white). "Sami Swoi" is the first part of a trilogy of comedies directed by Sylwester Checinski. It has a story that has stood the test of time and is still beloved by Polish film watchers.
The story starts out with Jasko 'John' Pawlak, who lives in the United States, coming to visit his brother Kazimierz and his family. He came to Poland to be the godfather of his nephew's daughter. Jasko is very dismayed when he finds out his nephew married a Kargul. From here, we learn about what happened to the family in the 40 years of Jasko's absence. The story flashes back and forth between the past and the present and revolves around their feud with their Kargul neighbors.
Their feuding goes back to a time when a Kargul plowed three fingers width of land of Pawlak land. In retaliation for this disrespect, Jasko tried to attack the elder Kargul and is the reason he had to flee to America.
With the end of World War II, and the change in borders, both families are forced to relocate to the former German territory that is now part of Poland. (Their land was in the Eastern part of Poland that was given to Belarus and Ukraine). As they want to be with their own people, the Pawlak's decide to stop and live right next door to the Kargul's home and keep the traditional feud alive.
When the families arrive in their new homes the older Pawlak son and the older Kargul daughter start to like each other. This infuriates both of their fathers but they slowly mend the tensions between the two families. In a way, the story shows how Poland mended after the war as well as the two families.
The Pawlaks and Karguls are like hillbillies that bicker over petty things. The way they act, sometimes in a backwards way, is quite funny. For example, Kazimierz goes to town to get help to deliver his new child. He buys a drunken vet from another man for a jug of moonshine to deliver the baby.
"Sami Swoi" is one of those movies that is still enjoyable when watched and re-watched. Like a string of dominos, "Sami Swoi" has one funny situation or dialogue after another. Its humor is likely to make you laugh out loud or at least bring a smile to your face. It is one of the most well known Polish comedies and would unquestionable be considered a classic.
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