Urodziny mlodego Warszawiaka
Polish filmmaker Czesaw Petelski, who'd previously helmed the two-part historical epic Casimir the Great, sets his sights on the World War II years in Birthday. Piotr Lysak plays a young Pole who celebrates his 23rd birthday in 1944. It is at once an occasion for both exultation and anguish: Lysak's birthday coincides with the abortive Warsaw Uprising. As in his previous work, Petelski is able to place a tumultuous historical event within an intensely personal perspective. On this occasion, he manages to get it done within the relatively short timespan of 98 minutes (at least in the English-language version, which doesn't appear to be radically shortened).