|Richard J.Brzostek - 05/01/2007
A Majestic story of Three Friends in 19th Century Poland, February 11, 2006
"Promised Land" (or "Ziemia Obiecana" in Polish) is a majestic story of three friends who come together to build a factory in Lodz during the 19th century. The friends, a Pole (as played by Daniel Olbrychski), a German, and a Jew, each need each others' resources and skills in making their dreams come true. However, both the German and Jew are advised by others not to deal with their Polish friend, as they believe it will come to no good end. In the 19th century, Poland was not on the map, as its neighbors (Germany, Russia, and Austria) partitioned it amongst themselves. This is the reason why German is occasionally spoken in the film and Rubles, a Russian currency, are mentioned.
The Polish man is a nobleman, but he cares little for his heritage or tradition. His thirst for wealth will put a strain on the friendship of the trio and a love affair he has with the wife of a wealthy Jew will cause them all more problems than they would ever expect.
In general, the businessmen of the time are corrupt, the workers are abused, and the story that unfolds is tragic. The film itself is beautiful. With haunting and dramatic music, this colorful time in history is interestingly portrayed. The factories are grim and stark, which contrasts with the splendid palaces where the wealthy live. "Promised Land" gives us a glimpse into the past and a chance to witness the poverty of the many and the wealth of the few.
"Promised Land," directed by Andrzej Wajda, is an exceptional film of the type that has earned him world fame. This new director's cut of this 1974 film is 138 minutes in length. "Promised Land" is spoken in Polish, with parts in other languages. This film has optional English subtitles. At times the film is gory and often tragic, but entirely a captivating story, worth watching.
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