The Wolf

Wilczyca | Marek Piestrak | PL 1983 | 98 Min | DCP

A domestic hit in Poland on first release, Marek Piestrak’s stunning wintry werewolf film is a sexually-charged folktale that doubles as a testament to Polish identity and nationalism. Set during the series of European upheavals known as the Springtime of the Peoples in 1848, during which the Austrian army invaded Poland, a cavalry officer named Kacper returns home to find his wife (Iwona Bielska of Żuławski’s On the Silver Globe) dying after a botched abortion—from a pregnancy he had no part in. With her last breath she confesses that she has sold her soul to the devil and will return as a she-wolf to haunt him for the rest of his days. Seeking to forget these traumatic events, Kacper takes a job for a count who has been driven into exile, promising to look after the man’s house and his wife Julia (also played by Iwona Bielska) until the count can safely return. But Julia is an insatiably lustful creature who quickly takes up with an Austrian soldier in her husband’s absence, flaunting every transgression like a slap in the face to Kacper’s sense of propriety and his deeply-held patriotism. Could Julia’s feral nature be connected to the large wolf that’s been seen roaming the grounds, and whose chilling howl rings through the night?

Marek Piestrak
Piestrak, Marek was born in Kraków in 1938, studied Directing at the PWSTiF Film School in Łódź and worked as an intern in Hollywood on Roman Polański's Rosemary’s Baby. He is known for fantastic films like The Wolf, Pilot Pirx’s Inquest, or Curse of Snakes Valley, which was reportedly seen by twenty-five million Soviet moviegoers.
Language OmeU
Cast Krzysztof Jasiński, Iwona Bielska, Stanisław Brejdygant, Olgierd Łukaszewicz, Henryk Machalica
Writer Marek Piestrak (based on a novel by Jerzy Gierałtowski
Editing Maria Kuźmińska-Lebiedzik
Cinematography Janusz Pawłowski