Shivers

  • 1981
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Hudziec plays a boy growing up in Poland during the Stalinist era. His father is arrested under mysterious circumstances and taken from their village. Hudziec is shaken further by the constant flow of "visitors" to his sister's bedroom, forcing him to defend her honor in a fight with schoolmates. Eventually, he is sent to a Pioneer camp where he is to be...read more

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Hudziec plays a boy growing up in Poland during the Stalinist era. His father is arrested under mysterious circumstances and taken from their village. Hudziec is shaken further by the constant flow of "visitors" to his sister's bedroom, forcing him to defend her honor in a fight with

schoolmates. Eventually, he is sent to a Pioneer camp where he is to be reeducated along party lines. Though he finds the camp's ideals repugnant, Hudziec follows the training he receives in order to impress Marczewska, a camp teacher he has a crush on. Hudziec soon becomes a loyal Pioneer,

believing party dogma to be Utopian ideals. Though the camp is rocked when one of the children commits suicide, Hudziec continues to believe in his lessons. When Stalin dies, the boy's father is released from prison to find that the son he takes home from the camp is not the son he had left

behind.

This semiautobiographical work is a harsh condemnation of the Stalinist era, filmed in an unusual mix of styles. Hudziec's village is a series of stark, cold images, while the camp is depicted almost lyrically with a sweeping use of camera. Yet the director's viewpoint is always clear, creating a

paradox between image and emotion. Marczewski based his film on childhood memories of his father's arrest and his own period in a youth camp. Like the film's subject, he was told to forget his father, for Stalin was his real father. Marczewski made the movie with government approval in 1980,

premiering the work late in 1981. Just three weeks after the film opened, martial law was declared in Poland and SHIVERS was banned. It was also withdrawn by Polish authorities as the country's official entry for the Academy Awards. Marczewski was able to get his film into several important

festivals, including the New York Film Festival in 1984. It also received top honors at the Berlin Festival in 1982. (In Polish; English subtitles.)

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  • Released: 1981
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Hudziec plays a boy growing up in Poland during the Stalinist era. His father is arrested under mysterious circumstances and taken from their village. Hudziec is shaken further by the constant flow of "visitors" to his sister's bedroom, forcing him to defe… (more)

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