|Richard J.Brzostek - 05/01/2007
Suspenseful story about two men that attempt to unravel a complicated death/murder seeped in politics, May 25, 2006
"Street Games" (Gry Uliczne) is a suspenseful story about two men that attempt to unravel a complicated death/murder seeped in politics. A reporter (Redbad Klynstra) and his cameraman (Robert Gonera) are used to making provocative investigative documentaries, but when they take on an assignment to investigate the 1977 death of Stanislaw Pyjas, they take on something bigger than they may have ever imagined. Officially, Pyjas died from a fall from a staircase, but the word on the street is that he was killed by the secret police.
The movie shows us a part of life in Communist Poland, but stays firmly grounded in the present time. The filmmakers make their own investigation into the death that occurred about 20 years prior by interviewing people that knew him and worked for the secret police. Things get complicated because many of the former secret police agents are now in various positions of power. As the filmmakers interview more and more people, they get deeper into the mystery as they try to peel the layers of the onion away.
The film is a suspense/drama and murder-mystery, but the story is not told in a completely straightforward way. The movie uses come creative camera work and story telling that gives it a slightly different feeling. Occasionally, there are cartoon-like art images intermixed throughout the movie breaking up the seriousness and adding to the other slightly surrealistic aspects. One of my favorite examples of this would be when the reporter tells his friend a story while they are using drugs in the bathroom. His story involves a woman who he met and interacts with at a bar who was wearing only body paint. The lines between the story and the present are very vague and overlap.
Krzysztof Krauze directed "Street Games" (1997) just before he made his 1999 award-winning thriller "The Debt" (Dlug). The suspense in "Street Games" is different from that of "The Debt," but perhaps it was his chance to refine his technique for the later film. Krauze does not have many films to his catalog, but his work demonstrates his ability and is one to keep an eye on.
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