Camouflage | Chicago Reader

Camouflage

Krzysztof Zanussi's wry, Chekhovian comedy (1977) is often credited with having inaugurated the so-called "cinema of moral concern," a cycle of Polish films from the late 70s and early 80s that used allegorical stories to address societal problems. It takes place at a summer retreat for linguistics students, where an embittered, middle-aged professor spends a long weekend trying to crush the idealism of a younger, more popular teaching assistant. On first release Polish audiences embraced the film as a satire of the hypocrisy and conformism then pervasive in the national government, yet Zanussi maintains a characteristic ambiguity; one never knows whether the older man wants to sabotage his protege out of contempt or because he sees in him so much of his younger self. In Polish with subtitles.

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