Thursday, April 16, 2015

Film Capsule: Walerian Borowczyk's Story of Sin (1975)


Story of Sin (1975)
Directed by Walerian Borowczyk

Story of Sin begins with a confession and ends with an assassination. Amidst these extremes, the Polish-born Borowczyk—in his only film produced in his home country—endeavors to locate an at once sumptuous and scandalous middle ground, bridging sources of both a literary and libidinous nature along the way. Based on Stefan Zeromski’s lurid serial novelization, the film follows Ewa, a tragically fated teen whose irrepressible passion for Lukash, a married young anthropology student, intertwines with issues of church and state to emotionally and religiously crippling effect. When Lukash departs for Rome, the clandestine couple’s tempestuous bond is further tested by the arrival of a newborn child and the dubious motives of a surly count whose sexual advances provoke Ewa to engage a nascent, murderous impulse. Richly composed and feverishly orchestrated, it’s an unapologetic melodrama, and one that’s equally concerned with the disabuse of faith as it is disquisitions of the flesh. (Apr 5, 6:45pm; Apr 6, 9pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Borowczyk retrospective) [The L]

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