Write and Fight | Chicago Reader

Write and Fight

In this 1984 Polish film directed by Wojciech Has (also known as The Writing Instrument), a Polish journalist is placed in a Russian prison together with a safecracker and a murderer. He begins taking notes for a future writing project, but he has no special access to truth. The lives of everyone in the prison become intertwined, and as a prison doctor defines it, truth is “the necessity of constant distortion.” Has typically places his characters before windows that barely illuminate the scene, turning people into near shadows, and this visual motif provides a powerful parallel to the story, in which the characters? autonomy is engulfed by the prison's darkness.

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