Close Up

24 April 2016: Hands Up!

Hands Up!
Jerzy Skolimowski
1981 | 76 min | B/W | DCP

"Skolimowski returned to Poland to direct and star in the film that would join Walkover and Rysopis to complete and extend his autobiographically refracted portrait of the post-war generation with a radical and sharply political third part. When almost completed Hands Up! encountered serious resistance from the Polish censors who objected to the film’s satiric critique of Stalinist tendencies at work in Poland and banned its release when Skolimowski refused to remove the controversially absurdist image a Stalin billboard with double eyes. The banning of Hands Up! led Skolimowski to leave Poland and abandon his place at the forefront of the new cinema. In 1980, Skolimowski seized upon the abrupt relaxation of censorship to direct a fascinating first person prologue, shot in London and Lebanon, that comments upon his career and life outside and after Poland, wondering what would have happened if he had given in and bowed to censorship." – Harvard Film Archives

Part of our series on Masters of Polish Cinema and the 14th KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival.
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