The role of former secret policemen in a new, democratic Poland beset by crime is the theme of this feature, which earned several prizes at the 1992 Gdynia Festival.
Franz Maurer (Boguslaw Linda) is a young, arrogant, but apparently efficient police officer, up before a screening commission. Franz is lucky, having been retained for service as a plain clothes man on the criminal squad, even though he and his friends are warned that they will work harder and
earn less than in the old days. Their first assignment is to arrest a suspected car smuggler, and under the command of a young, politically unsophisticated, and woefully inexperienced officer, everything goes wrong. The team is uncoordinated--even Franz is busy talking on the phone to his new
mistress (Aqnieszka Jaskola) when all hell breaks loose--and the car smuggler turns out to be a former Stasi (East German State Security Service) officer, and the former Major Gross (Janusz Gajos) of the Polish political police, wants to take over the German's amphetamine network. What should have
been an easy assignment turns into a massacre.
Seeing his friends wounded and killed drives Franz to ignore the rules; he beats up suspects, hauls a corrupt DA out of his hospital bed to extract information and even contacts Ola (Marek Kondrat), one of the dismissed secret police who has joined Gross' gang. Ola, too, turns out to be a
cold-blooded killer, though at least he also murders one of Gross's more sadistic thugs.
Franz is dismissed when the commission learns of his irregular methods, so he gets an AK-47 and hires out to a drug manufacturer whose brother was killed by Ola. When Gross and Ola arrive at his clandestine plant, Franz is ready for them.
PIGS has a great deal of graphic violence, unusual for a Polish film, and an apparent concession to the American influence on audience tastes. Still, the film's theme, the fate of the tough, able, and amoral political police in a society negotiating the quasi-anarchic transition between
communism and democracy, socialism and the free-market, is key to Central Europe's stability. In an atmosphere of pervasive corruption, some of the former political police can't forget their old tried-and-true methods, even as regular detectives, while some of those dismissed decide to become
criminals. Wladislaw Pasikowski, who wrote and directed PIGS, has successfully explored the huge grey area between liberty and license, between the rights of free citizens and the powers of avenging policemen. (Violence, profanity, sexual situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1993
- Rating: NR
- Review: The role of former secret policemen in a new, democratic Poland beset by crime is the theme of this feature, which earned several prizes at the 1992 Gdynia Festival. Franz Maurer (Boguslaw Linda) is a young, arrogant, but apparently efficient police off… (more)