Interrogation (1982 film)

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Przesluchanie (Interrogation) English DVD Cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Ryszard Bugajski
Produced by Tadeusz Drewno
Andrzej Wajda
Written by Ryszard Bugajski
Janusz Dymek
Starring Krystyna Janda
Adam Ferency
Janusz Gajos
Cinematography Jacek Petrycki
Edited by Katarzyna Maciejko-Kowalczyk
Release date
  • 13 December 1989 (1989-12-13)
Running time
118 minutes
Country Poland
Language Polish

Interrogation (Polish: Przesłuchanie) is a 1982 Polish film about false imprisonment under the Stalinist pro-Soviet Polish regime in the early 1950s. An ordinary, apolitical woman refuses to cooperate with the abusive system and its officials, who are trying to force her to incriminate a former incidental lover, now an accused political prisoner. It was directed by Ryszard Bugajski. Due to its anti-communist themes, the Polish communist government banned the film from public viewing for over seven years, until the 1989 dissolution of the Eastern Bloc allowed it to see the light of day.[1] The film had its first theatrical release in December 1989 in Poland and was entered into the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, where Krystyna Janda won the award for Best Actress and the film itself was nominated for the Palme d'Or.[2]

Despite the film's controversial initial reception and subsequent banning, it garnered a cult fanbase through the circulation of illegally taped VHS copies, which director Ryszard Bugajski secretly helped to leak out to the general public.[1][3]


Communist Poland, 1951. Tonia (Krystyna Janda) is a cabaret singer. After she performs for soldiers, she quarrels with her husband (Olgierd Lukaszewicz). Two men get her drunk and take her away by car. She is arrested without being told why, and placed in a political military prison to be interrogated. Over a course of some years, she is humiliated and tortured by prison officials into confessing to crimes she did not commit. After failing to sign a document detailing a false confession, she is taken to the prison shower block and locked into a small cage between the floors. The water is turned on and the room is slowly flooded. She is released at the last moment and told to sign the confession form again, which she continues to refuse to do. While in prison, she demands that she sees her husband. One day he visits the prison, but is told by the officials of her alleged infidelities prior to her arrest, and he tells her that he doesn't want to see her again. She unsuccessfully attempts suicide. She develops a romantic relationship with an officer, one of the interrogating prison officials, whom she tells of the absurdity of the system he believes in. She becomes pregnant by him and, like other female inmates, is forced to give up her child for adoption, before eventually being released and reunited with her child. The officer secures her release and her ability to reclaim their child and then commits suicide.



Festival Category Winner/Nominee Won
Cannes Film Festival[2] Best Actress Krystyna Janda Yes
Palme d'Or Ryszard Bugajski No
Chicago International Film Festival[4] Silver Hugo Ryszard Bugajski Yes
European Film Awards[5] Best Actress Krystyna Janda No
Best Film Janusz Morgenstern No
Best Screenwriter Ryszard Bugajski, Janusz Dymek No
Polish Film Festival[6] Best Actor Janusz Gajos Yes
Best Actress Krystyna Janda Yes
Best Supporting Actress Anna Romantowska Yes
Special Jury Prize Ryszard Bugajski Yes


  1. ^ a b Benson, Sheila (26 September 1990). "Movie Review - 'Interrogation': Janda's Arresting Performance - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 September 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Festival de Cannes: Interrogation". Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  3. ^ "Second Run DVD - Interrogation". Second Run DVD. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Polish culture: Ryszard Bugajski". Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "European Film Awards 1990". Retrieved 25 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Przesłuchanie". Retrieved 15 January 2011. 

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