Close Up

13 April 2019: Hands Up!


Hands Up!
Jerzy Skolimowski, 1985, 76 min
Polish with English subtitles

"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 postwar 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 Archive

Part of Kinoteka: Witold Sobociński