A young male virgin has to be sacrificed. This is the view of a group of working class mystics and painters bent on saving the world.
On the eve of WW2 their master, a mysterious Rosicrucian, warns them of three imminent omens of destruction – and thus begins a tale in which the 20th century is retold in scenes inspired by the naive tableaux and board paintings of the working class aristocracy – the coalminers.
Primitive metaphysics mixes with the harsh reality of the Stalinist period
in Silesia – a region fought over by Germans and Poles. The unique culture, language and customs of this vanishing world are painstakingly recreated by Lech Majewski’s painterly eye and a dark sense of humor.
screenplay by Lech Majewski, Ireneusz Siwiński, Bronisław Maj music Lech Majewski, Józef Skrzek cinematography Adam Sikora art direction by Lech Majewski, Katarzyna Sobańska editor Eliot Ems producer Henryk Romanowski
with Jan Siodlaczek, Pawel Steinert, Jacenty Jędrusik, Grzegorz Stasiak, Elżbieta Okupska, Marian Makula, Andrzej Mastalerz, Małgorzata Gadecka, Andrzej Skupiński, Barbara Święs, Jan Skrzek, Ruta Kubac, Tadeusz Pławecki, Adam Kopciuszewski, Adam Baumann, Kazimierz Krzaczkowski, Jan Bógdoł, Wincenty Grabarczyk, Ryszard Zaorski, Andrzej Chłapecki, Jacek Borusiński, Aleksandra Margiciok, Erwin Sówka, Izabela Malik
Prix Federico Fellini 2002; Audience Award, Miami Film Festival 2002; Best Film, Lagow 2002; Silver Frog, Camerimage 2001.
“When it isn’t exciting the eye with its precise, painterly imagery, Lech Majewski’s Angelus amuses in a dry, absurdist fashion… The film’s mode of setting up fantastically designed and lensed tableaux shots, has a nearly hallucinating impact on the eye… There’s a purified aura of beauty in ‘Angelus’ that creates a sometimes stunning sense of the imagination overcoming all obstacles.”
Robert Koehler, Variety
Brandon Judell, Indie WIRE, Miami Film Festival
“Angelus is a fascinating film that recalls the work of Tarkovsky, while standing alone as a unique expression of Majewski’s creative impulse. It’s an otherworldly film, its images meticulously composed in a vivid, painterly style… The result is a film of uncommon beauty, celebrating the pursuit of art and enlightenment in all its myriad forms.”
Darryl MacDonald, Seattle International Film Festival
“An exceptionally original film, entirely in the spirit of the naïf paintings. One thinks of Fellini.”
Michael Gibson, International Herald Tribune
“Like Emir Kusturica’s Underground and Volker Schlondorff’s The Tin Drum, Angelus offers a sardonic, off-centered lens on decades of strife in Eastern Europe.”
Laura Emerick, Chicago Sun-Times
“Wildy inventive! Fantastic imagery! A mix of Fellini’s absurdist satire and Tarkovsky’s mystical ritualism.”
Washington City Paper
“Lech Majewski’s dazzling visual talents are on full display in this absurdist comedy. It’s great fun to watch.”
Reece Pendleton, Chicago Reader
“Angelus is a visual thrill, and above all, a committed defense of mystery, poetry, and imagination against materialism and totalitarianism.”
Jason Sanders, Berkeley Art Museum