Film

Film

by

Having idled in Eurofest-land for four years, Jerzy Stuhr’s The Big Animal is finally being hoisted here on the virtue of its Kieslowski screenplay, but the film itself is virtually KK antimatter. A lean, ludicrous, Polish/Czech-new-wave-style parable about conformity and social oppression, Stuhr’s black-and-white satire centers on a giant metaphoric beast—in the same year as Werckmeister Harmonies. Decalogue vets Stuhr and Anna Dymna star as a frumpy, small-town couple who become unexpected owners of a huge, circus-abandoned Bactrian camel, which quickly becomes an obscure object of, first, desire, and then fear and loathing. The tale’s faux-fable simplicity is cunningly eloquent, and the visions of the great desert animal thrusting his head through a window during dinnertime, or drowsily strolling the streets on a leash, are hauntingly absurd.

Most Popular