Little Rose is a riveting story about internal rot in a country trapped behind the Iron Curtain after WWII. The main character is “Kamila” (Magdalena Boczarska), a beautiful young woman pursuaded to seduce & then inform on a famous author/university professor (Andrzej Seweryn) under the code name “Little Rose.” Her runner is a brutal apparachnik (Robert Wieckiewicz) who is keeping dangerous secrets of his own. Stylistically, the film is much like recent Oscar-Winner The Lives of Others, with an extra dose of noxious anti-Semitism.
The drama is powerful & the performances are all dense & compelling, however, I wish director Jan Kidawa-Blonski had provided a bit more historical context. His story opens in June ’67 with images of the Six Day War & ends with the Polish government’s expulsion of dissidents in mid-68 (especially “Zionist troublemakers”), but it helps to know that this is all happening simultaneous with “the Prague Spring” in nearby Czechoslovakia. Students were demonstrating on college campuses all around the world. No wonder the Soviets & their Polish underlings were spooked!
Photo courtesy of the CIFF Press Office. All rights reserved.