Directed by Marcin Krzysztalowicz. Starring Marcin Dorocinski, Maciej Stuhr, Sonia Bohosiewicz, Weronika Rosati Cineworld, 8.45pm ****
In the grey woodlands of Axis-occupied Poland, Wydra (Dorocinski), an unblinking executioner for the Resistance, marches a Nazi collaborator to a secluded spot and pulls the trigger. Wydra’s next target, an old schoolfriend named Henryk, will not be so straightforward.
A repertory outing for Kieslowski’s Blind Chance precedes the screening of Krzysztalowicz’s Manhunt; it’s a neat scene-setter as both titles belong to the same chronologically playful subset as Christopher Nolan’s Memento and Kurosawa’s Rashomon.
Manhunt’s backward-running narrative fashions a taut wartime thriller from a series of flashbacks: vital information and crucial biographical details are carefully and deftly obscured. The film’s temporal disruptions simultaneously provide writer-director Krzysztalowicz with an effective means of teasing out the divided and conflicting loyalties of wartime Poland.
Dorocinski’s brooding, menacing central turn provides a heavyweight fulcrum for all the narrative swings and roundabouts.
Arkadiusz Tomiak’s steely cinematography and an eerily sparse sound design add to the sense of being held in a tightening grip.