A cabaret performer (Krystyna Janda) in 1951 Poland is arrested without explanation and interrogated about her relationship with an army officer in Ryszard Bugajski’s formerly banned 1982 feature about the nightmare of Stalinism, produced when the Solidarity movement was at its height. Well crafted and solidly actedJanda won a best-actress prize at Cannes, and her cohorts (who include Adama Ferencego, Janusz Gajos, and director Agnieszka Holland) are equally up to their partsthis is too thoughtful to qualify as simple propaganda (some attempt is made to humanize the torturers as well as their victims), yet it’s so relentless and unvarying in its portrait of suffering that its dramatic importance seems to lie mainly in its determination to bear witness to some grim historical facts. The results are certainly accomplished and intelligent, but clearly not for everyone. 116 min. (JR)

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