Kanal (1957)

Feature Film | War Drama | Poland | Polish | 1h31m
Dir: Andrzej Wajda | Scr: Jerzy Stefan Stawiński | Ph: Jerzy Lipman | Mus: Jan Krenz | Ed: Halina Nawrocka | PD: Roman Mann | Snd: Józef Bartczak | Cast: Teresa Izewska, Tadeusz Janczar, Wienczysław Gliński, Tadeusz Gwiazdowski, Stanisław Mikulski, Emil Karewicz, Vladek Sheybal, Teresa Berezowska

With the Warsaw Uprising coming to a bloody conclusion, an all but beaten company of resistance fighters is given the order to retreat through the city’s sewers to its centre. Reluctant to do so, with each member already seemingly resigned to their inevitable demise, the company nevertheless follows its orders, descending into the hellish stink below, but soon comes to find that its new environs are every bit as challenging as the rubble-strewn, Nazi-infested streets it had just fled. Solidly crafted, fascinatingly plotted, and well-acted, this influential war drama nevertheless fails to deliver the nightmarish, visceral punch that it should have, with the anxiety-ridden, claustrophobic horror of its situation never quite coming across.