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Moonlighting

Screening on Film
Directed by Jerzy Skolimowski.
With Jeremy Irons, Eugene Lipinski, Jirí Stanislav.
UK, 1982, 35mm, color, 97 min.
English and Polish with English subtitles.

Skolimowski was still living in self-imposed exile in London when Martial Law was suddenly imposed on Poland in December 1981 and the rising Solidarity movement was dramatically shackled and silenced. The swift turn of events inspired Skolimowski to create one of his most explicitly political yet also remarkably nuanced films – and to cast a young Jeremy Irons in one of his first major film roles as a Polish contractor brought to England on a tourist visa, together with three workers, to oversee the renovation of a corrupt fellow Pole’s London flat. In an autobiographical and cost-saving flourish, Skolimowski’s own London apartment served as the stage and symbol for Moonlighting’s taut drama and moving political allegory which transforms the illegal renovation and the workers’ strange limbo status into a quietly potent emblem of exile and alienation. – HG

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