The Promised Land (1975 film)
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|The Promised Land|
Polish promotional poster for the theatrical release of The Promised Land (Ziemia Obiecana)
|Directed by||Andrzej Wajda|
|Written by||Andrzej Wajda|
|Starring||Daniel Olbrychski, Wojciech Pszoniak, Andrzej Seweryn|
|Music by||Wojciech Kilar|
|Cinematography||Wacław Dybowski, Edward Kłosiński, Witold Sobociński|
|Edited by||Zofia Dwornik, Halina Prugar|
The Promised Land (Polish: Ziemia obiecana) is a 1975 Polish drama film directed by Andrzej Wajda, based on a novel by Władysław Reymont. Set in the industrial city of Łódź, The Promised Land tells the story of a Pole, a German, and a Jew struggling to build a factory in the raw world of 19th-century capitalism.
Wajda presents a shocking image of the city, with its dirty and dangerous factories and ostentatiously opulent residences devoid of taste and culture. The film follows in the footsteps of Charles Dickens, Émile Zola and Maxim Gorky, as well as German expressionists such as Knopf, Meidner and Grosz, who gave testimony of social protest.
Karol Borowiecki (Daniel Olbrychski), a young Polish nobleman, is the managing engineer at the Bucholz textile factory. He is ruthless in his career pursuits, and unconcerned with the long tradition of his financially-declined family. He plans to set up his own factory with the help of his friends Max Baum (Andrzej Seweryn), a German and heir to an old handloom factory, and Moritz Welt (Wojciech Pszoniak), an independent Jewish businessman. Borowiecki's affair with Lucy Zucker (Kalina Jędrusik), the wife of another textile magnate, gives him advance notice of a change in cotton tariffs and helps Welt to make a killing on the Hamburg futures market. However, more money has to be found so all three characters cast aside their pride to raise the necessary capital.
On the day of the factory opening, Borowiecki has to deny his affair with Zucker's wife to a jealous husband who, himself a Jew, makes him swear on a sacred Catholic object. Borowiecki then accompanies Lucy on her exile to Berlin. However, Zucker sends an associate to spy on his wife; he confirms the affair and informs Zucker, who takes his revenge on Borowiecki by burning down his brand new, uninsured factory. Borowiecki and his friends lose all that they had worked for.
The film fast forwards a few years. Borowiecki recovered financially by marrying Mada Müller, a rich heiress, and he owns his own factory. His factory is threatened by a workers' strike. Borowiecki is forced to decide whether or not to open fire on the striking and demonstrating workers, who throw a rock into the room where Borowiecki and others are gathered. He is reminded by an associate that it is never too late to change his ways. Borowiecki, who has never shown human compassion toward his subordinates, authorizes the police to open fire nevertheless.
- Daniel Olbrychski as Karol Borowiecki
- Wojciech Pszoniak as Moritz Welt
- Andrzej Seweryn as Maks Baum
- Kalina Jędrusik as Lucy Zucker
- Anna Nehrebecka as Anka
- Bożena Dykiel as Mada Müller
- Andrzej Szalawski as Herman Bucholz
- Stanisław Igar as Grünspan
- Franciszek Pieczka as Mr Müller
- Kazimierz Opaliński as Maks' Father
- Andrzej Lapicki as Trawiński
- Wojciech Siemion as Wilczek
- Tadeusz Białoszczyński as Karol's Father
- Zbigniew Zapasiewicz as Kessler
- Jerzy Nowak as Zucker
- Piotr Fronczewski as Horn
- Jerzy Zelnik as Stein
- Maciej Góraj as Adam Malinowski
- Grażyna Michalska as Zośka Malinowska
- Włodzimierz Boruński as Halpern
- Danuta Wodyńska as Mrs Müllerowa
- Marian Glinka as Wilhelm Müller
- Jadwiga Andrzejewska Mrs Bucholz
- Aleksander Dzwonkowski as Zajączkowski
- Zdzisław Kuźniar as Kaczmarek
- Halina Gryglaszewska as Mrs Malinowska
- Jerzy Oblamski as Mr Malinowski
- Cinema of Poland
- List of Polish language films
- List of submissions to the 48th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Polish submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- Schwartz, Dennis (February 2, 2014). "The Promised Land". Ozus' World Movie Reviews.
The Polish Jewish director Andrzej Wajda ("Ashes and Diamonds"/"Kanal"/"Samson"), Poland's greatest living filmmaker, explores Poland's difficult transition in the late 19th-century from feudalism to the Industrial Revolution.