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Polish comedies created by Bareja, are they understandable for non Polish people ?

Wroclaw_666 1 | 47
31 Oct 2011 #1
Yesterday I watched "Co mi zrobisz jak mnie złapiesz", an old Polish comedy, from 1978. I wonder if the sense of this movie is understandable for people who has no relation with "old times" in communistic Poland. This comedy ridicules the old Polish system. What is your opinion ?
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
31 Oct 2011 #2
I have tried and while conceptually I get the jokes, the humour isn't there.
Cosmopolish - | 7
31 Oct 2011 #3
I think it may be difficult to grasp for people who didn't live in Poland during those times. Probably the situation were to abstract for others to get it.
gumishu 13 | 6,134
31 Oct 2011 #4
there is a one genial scene in the movie that happens when the main prothagonists drinks in a pub in Hungary and retells to some Hungarian lad he's drinking with (the Hungarian is already dead drunk) the story of Otello (he was at a 'Otello' spectacle in a Budapest theatre that day) - he grabs the waiter's neck to show how Otello strangled Desdemona and the panicked waiter (a Hungarian too obviously) gives back the change from the notes he just received from the Polish guy

... - the scene starts at 1:45 more or less
JonnyM 11 | 2,615
31 Oct 2011 #5
are they understandable for non Polish people ?

Yes but they're still tenth rate...
OP Wroclaw_666 1 | 47
1 Nov 2011 #6
there is a one genial scene

This movie is a miscellany of genial scenes. In general this commedy consists of many threads, which consists of few scenes at each thread. This is one big impression (parody) for the communism in PL, I believe it was hard censored, but still shows a the real face of the old system.

Stanislaw Bareja created also few another comedies in that style e.g. Miś, Brunet wieczorową porą and also serials like Alternatywy 4 or Zmiennicy. I can't imagine how can he fund and publish their movies in that time, as far as I know he fought with censors very hard. "Alternatywy 4" has been published in TV few yeard after they completed it.

Another interesting thing is that all best actors have played in Bareja's movies. I believe that everyone wanted to take a part in the parody of the hated political system.
mafketis 36 | 10,788
1 Nov 2011 #7
genial =/= genialny (you can find that meaning in the dictionary but it's outdated and I've never heard a native use it that way)

genial = sympatyczny (meaning for native speakers of english)

Due to changing social mores and political systems Bareja's movies are probably funnier for non-Poles who knew something of Poland then than for younger Polish people.
OP Wroclaw_666 1 | 47
1 Nov 2011 #8
genial =

You are right, thank you.
mafketis 36 | 10,788
1 Nov 2011 #9
Brilliant is a good (US) equivalent of genialny, not sure about British usage where it's often used to mean something like 'great' or 'awesome'.

Bareja is a little hit or miss for me and he gets some really bad ideas (esp with any non-white character) but at his best he had a better understanding of the day-to-day Polish national character (and how to deflate it) than anyone else.
Sarah W - | 4
5 Jul 2021 #10
Are there any with English subtitles, please? links? I grew up reading Don Camillo, written originally in Italian and featuring the little wars between the communist mayor and the village priest. I suspect there may be some similarities? it's a very dry humour. Also, I find what I have seen of Polish humour that is is not dissimilar to British humour, which a lot of Americans find impenetrable. It is a feature of American humour to have a 'wise guy' who puts other people down with sharp humour. British humour, on the other hand, tends to be very dry and understated, and focuses on the little guy, often even on a loser as the central character, who somehow manages to come out on top, sometimes by accident. Longin in 'Ogniem i Mieczem' is just this sort of character, he is under geas of his vow of celibacy, and by playing it straight to Zagloba's [sorry I have no dark l] clowning, he manages to be a comedic character [he even makes Jurko laugh and reveal those delectable dimples]. And because he is a gently humorous and loveable character it adds impact and meaning to his heroic death. Much of British humour is about the absurdity of life, and how one carries on carrying on through whatever happens [and Poland surely has had a lot of 'whatever' happening.].

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