Wojaczek | Chicago Reader

Wojaczek

Lech Majewski trains his absurdist gaze on the last days of Polish poet Rafal Wojaczek in this visually arresting but often frustrating 1999 biopic. Wojaczek, who committed suicide in 1971, is portrayed as an almost spectral figure who morosely wanders the streets in search of companionship, booze, and death. His various encounters, often presented in a comically deadpan manner, serve mostly as a platform for Majewski's caustic take on the artistic and political landscape in Poland during the communist era. The opening and closing sequences are terrific, but everything else comes off as a stylistic collision between Jim Jarmusch and Bela Tarr without the charm or depth such an encounter might hold. The striking black-and-white cinematography is by Adam Sikora. In Polish with subtitles. 89 min.

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