1957 / 91m - Poland
Canal poster


January 31, 2023


A classic war film, that reminded me a bit of Le Trou (especially those final 30 minutes). I didn't really care for Wajda's direction though. The first hour, in particular, was pretty dry and dreary. It picks up when they finally enter the titular sewer system, but by then the film had already lost me and the finale isn't that strong that it could rectify the rest of the film.

Canal is a film about the Polish revolt in Warsaw against the Germans in 1944. The Germans launch a final assault, that drives the remaining Polish fighters into the sewers. The tunnels are dark and the smell is horrible, and every escape route they find appears to be sealed off by German soldiers.

The performances are pretty wooden and the start of the film is very slow. I imagine the first hour is there to build a relationship with the characters, but that part failed for me. The trip through the sewers is more thrilling, but it just wasn't enough to save the film for me. Not the worst, but not very memorable either.