|Richard Brzostek - 04/04/2008
The Peasants (Chlopi) is based on the noble prize winning Polish novel written by Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont. Both the book and the film are well known and considered classics in Poland. The story is full of drama and has stood the test of time.
The story is revolves around the conflicts between a father and his son. They argue over land and a woman. The son wants to take over the farm while his father wants to remain in control of it. Both of them are suborn and equally have their own faults.
But one could equally say that the story is about the woman they both lust after named Jagna. Jagna is a pretty blond woman that slept with at least half the men in the village. The women in the village laugh and deride her while the men seek her out as the "other" women. Over time, the town grows to despise Jagna because her actions cause troubles for them.
Some parts of the movie were no doubt typical events in village life. We get a good look at folk customs, clothing and country life. We even see a couple of scenes of mob rule. I found the film to get more captivating as the story progressed.
I would consider the story to be an epic as it tells us the story over time and runs 166 minutes. The Peasants is a film you must see if you enjoyed other classic Polish films such as Krzyzacy, Potop and Nad Niemnen. Chlopi is one you must get to complete your collection of classic Polish films.
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