Stones for the Rampart | Chicago Reader

Stones for the Rampart

The old stereotype of the purring, sadistic Nazi interrogator ("Ve have vays of making you talk, you know") makes a triumphant return in this flag-waving thriller about the underground resistance group Szare Szeregi, which recruited children from Polish boys' and girls' clubs to carry out small-scale sabotage and street propaganda during the occupation. The main characters are two teenage boys active in the organization; when one of them is captured and endlessly tortured (with beatings, cigarette burns, and boiling water from a teakettle), his pal lobbies the resistance for an armed assault to free him. Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows (1969) informs this movie's portrayal of resistance leaders as a coldly manipulative bunch, sacrificing their young charges like pawns in a chess game. In Polish with subtitles.

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