Leave No Traces
Żeby Nie Było Śladów
After the brutal killing of a Polish student by security police in 1983, the State’s supposedly ‘independent’ legal system finds itself under intense political pressure.
Jan P Matuszyński
Leszek Bodzak, Aneta Hickinbotham
Tomasz Ziętek, Sandra Korzeniak, Mateusz Górski
France-Poland-Czech Republic 2021. 160min
With English subtitles
While the killing itself appears to be a case of unmotivated sadism, the case is soon deemed political when reported on the BBC World Service. This leads to a concerted effort by the authorities to distort legal procedure and falsify the evidence through blackmail and physical intimidation. Very much a film in the tradition of Andrzej Wajda’s Man of Marble, Jan P Matuszyński’s second feature provides a penetrating insight into the realities of life in Polish society following the imposition of martial law. Its compelling narrative and strong performances document a critical period in Poland’s history, while making a crucial statement on the necessity for an independent rule of law – a principle that can no longer be taken for granted in supposedly democratic countries.
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