1 April 2017



This is one of the most visually stunning period dramas I've ever seen. It's a gorgeous Polish drama that was an absolute pleasure to watch, not least because of all the kinky sex and nudity in it, haha.

Set in what is probably the nineteenth century in Europe, it starts with our heroine, the beautiful young brunette Ewa, confessing her youthful sins to a priest in confession. He gives her a grave lecture on the evils of sin, then she goes away and commits pretty much every sin it's possible for a young female to confess to. Tsk tsk. Young people. They're the same in every era.

Ewa Pobratynska lives with her parents and their old servant in an apartment in Ye Olden (but not too Olden) Tymes. She works in some sort of Olde-Timey office where all the writing is done by hand. Until the arrival of their handsome male lodger, Lukasz Niepolomski, she's probably led a fairly quiet, sheltered life. But when Lukasz first shows his pretty face, all bets are off. Ewa is in love, gloriously and wildly so...

Lukasz is undoubtedly good-looking but, as Ewa's mother can sense, he's not really the safest bet for an impressionable young girl with her whole life spread out in front of her. He's a bit older, for one thing, and still married to his wife. He's trying to obtain a divorce, though, something which is easier said than done in those rather stuffy, strait-laced days.

The pair have a passionate affair that leads to disaster. While Lukasz is gadding about elsewhere trying to get his precious divorce, Ewa is dealing with a very much unwanted pregnancy. How she handles this problem is utterly shocking but, so that we don't turn against our heroine, we must put her actions down to post-partum depression or even just plain shock.

It's fair to say that everything in the beautiful Ewa's life goes pear-shaped once she has her affair with the still-married and despicably treacherous Lukasz. There's the whole business with the pregnancy and birth, which she goes through alone, having been rejected by her scandalised mother. Her father still loves her, but he turns to the demon drink to deal with everything that's happened.

After Lukasz comes a dalliance with a handsome but weak Count who once shot and wounded Lukasz in a duel over Ewa's honour. Then she is brutally raped and forced into a union with a much older man who's had his beady eye on her for a long time.

Sure, he has money, but it all comes from tainted sources. He involves Ewa against her will in his murderous money-making schemes and controls her with the use of violence. Poor, poor Ewa. She had her whole life in front of her as well. 

Prostitution soon beckons, sadly, as a means to an end. Ewa becomes hardened and less sympathetic a character, although it's totally understandable to the viewers why she changes in this way. An attempt to 'save' her on the part of a misguided philanthropist goes out the window when the still-besotted Ewa hears that damnable name 'Lukasz' again, damn his limpid dark eyes...!

The scenery- and greenery- in the film is absolutely magnificent. The lavish gardens, balconies, courtyards and woodland walks are just stunning to behold. The interior sets are divinely exquisite, if I may be flowery for a moment, and so authentic that it really feels like we've gone back in time to nineteenth-century Europe. Beautiful pieces of art and statuary abound as well, as the protagonists visit art galleries and museums and gorgeous stately home-type places in the course of the action.

Despite its spectacular beauty, the film is probably best remembered for the frequent scenes of sex and nudity. There's even some lovely Olde-Timey pornographic imagery and such-like for us to ogle and drool over as well, haha. The actress who played Ewa even remarks in an interview (in one of the special features) how shocking it was at the time that she bared so much of herself in the film.

She wears some eye-popping outfits in the movie as well. Her dresses are all to die for. It was the era of sexy black stockings and little black button-up boots, too, so the sex scenes all involve the yanking-up of dresses to reveal a nice white expanse of thigh above the black stocking-tops. If you like that kind of thing, and who doesn't, you'll be in Lingerie Heaven. That's a real place, you know. They have a website and everything...!

My favourite outfit of Ewa's is the black corset thingy she wears when she's being a prostitute and, er, prostituting herself. Her little pink-ribboned pigtails are adorable...! She's a really cute, perky little actress and was probably a dream to dress and accessorise for the film.

Speaking of special features (well, we were a minute ago!), there are an absolute ton of them to be found on the ARROW ACADEMY's special release of the film which is out right now in a rather spiffing Dual Format Edition. That's in conjunction with FETCH PUBLICITY or FETCH DYNAMIC LTD., as they're also called.

There's the interview with the leading actress, for example, plus various video essays about the film and its director, and short films of Walerian Borowczyk's that are positively ingenious and clearly display the animation skills for which he's also famous.

There's also a special feature on the fabulous pieces of classical music used in the film, THE MUSIC BOX. The whole package is just so worth having. Plus, if friends see this film in your collection, they'll think you're a big film snob who watches snobby Polish cinema and they'll feel like total ignoramuses by comparison, haha.

I totally forgot to tell ye about one beautifully-shot love scene in an Olde-Timey shower, by the way, in which the horny-as-hell protagonists' clothing clings wetly to their dripping physiques, outlining their taut, straining bodies as they press against each other urgently in the act of love. Ooooh-er. Are you guys getting a bit hot under the collar too? I think I could use a nice cooling shower right about now myself. Till we meet again, dear movie buddies...


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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