1970. 2021. Poland. Directed by Tomasz Wolski. North American premiere. Courtesy Grasshopper Films. In Polish; English subtitles. 70 min.
Over several films, Polish documentarian Tomasz Wolski has shed light on his country’s Communist past. In 1970 he revisits countrywide demonstrations that erupted in the titular year in response to rising food prices, which were met with bloody repression at the hands of the regime. Wolski’s access to rare audio recordings from the apparatchik crisis team results in an utterly ingenious film marrying those dignitary telephone calls with stop-motion animation. In moody tableaux heavy with cigar smoke, a chamber piece plays out with palpable tension and political machinations, taking the viewer into the room with those who sent in the tanks. The 1970 rebellion, which paved the way for the Solidarity movement a decade later, is represented through stirring archival imagery.