Skip to main content


Poland, 1966 (MIFF 1967, Programme 5)

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski

"The moment I accepted the scholar­ship, I sold myself to the Government — lock, stock and barrel . . .! And so now I may just as well sell myself to anyone I choose . . .!" These are the first words of the film — a young man suddenly decides to leave behind everything he has been living by for years. He packs his belongings and walks off into the country. Somewhere, sometime, some sort of splendid life is awaiting him . . .

This, Skolimowski's latest film, is a symbolic presentation of a young man's travels through Poland; a study of youth and its rebellion against the comfortable barriers of middle age. It is a quest for meaning; an attempt to discard the now outmoded revolutionary ideals and to come to grips with reality.

More objective than Walkover, the director's film in last year's Festival, Barrier presents a sharply observed view of life in the Poland of today. The style is a successful fusion of sober documentation and surrealism, and the hero's progress, bitterness and final disillusionment are dissected with wit and brilliance.

Grand Prix, Bergamo Festival.

See also...


In The Departure, Jerzy Skolimowski, director of two previous festival films, Walkover and Barrier, has made his first film outside Poland. It was shot in Brussels with a French-speaking cast, and ... More »


Walkover, the original Polish title of this film, is an English expression meaning "an easy victory". Though an entity in itself, in a sense this film is a continuation of Skolimowski's earlier film ... More »


"Intriguing and disturbing, made with tremendous confidence and conviction." - Guardian ... Vincent Gallo stars as an unnamed Taliban soldier, captured and flown to a mysterious eastern European ... More »


An adolescent's initiation into the turmoils of love is expressed by the tragic pursuit of a woman by a young boy. ... A 15-year-old boy becomes obsessed with a girl several years older, with whom he ... More »

Frédéric Chopin - Valse Minute

A film of 50 seconds showing a pianist playing Chopin's Valse Minute in the middle of a sports stadium. ... More »


For close to three decades it seems that no film festival has been complete without a new film by Andrzej Wajda, Poland's greatest director and a film-maker with a seemingly inexhaustible capacity to ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director