Berlinale: Programme

Film file


O-bi, o-ba: Koniec cywilizacji

O-Bi, O-Ba: The End of Civilization

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After nuclear war has devastated Earth, some 2,000 survivors escape to an underground bunker under a massive dome in the mountains. About 850 of them are still alive and united in the hope that a spaceship called the Ark will soon arrive to rescue them. But the public servant Soft knows that this hope is in vain, because the Ark is nothing more than an invention of those in power. Meanwhile, the dome is decaying and Soft’s attempts to persuade an engineer to repair it fail. He then hears of a hangar that allegedly contains an aircraft. Together with his girlfriend, a prostitute named Gea, Soft plans an escape from the dome ... This apocalyptic drama draws haunting images of a post-nuclear society. Shrouded almost continually in the cold blue of fluorescent lights, the ragged figured drag themselves through an underground labyrinth, with the handheld camera emphasising the claustrophobic oppressiveness. The Christian myths of redemption that the film references have lost all meaning in this society. Instead of assuaging spiritual suffering, the Biblical message is used as scrap paper to add to the food, but it can barely even attenuate the physical misery.

Piotr Szulkin

Poland 1985


89’ · Colour · 35 mm


Jerzy Stuhr
Krystyna Janda
Mariusz Dmochowski
Kalina Jędrusik
Marek Walczewski
Jan Nowicki
Henryk Bista


Written and Directed by
Piotr Szulkin
Witold Sobociński
Elżbieta Kurkowska
Jerzy Satanowski
Nikodem Wołk-Łaniewski
Art Director
Andrzej Kowalczyk
Ewa Krauze, Małgorzata Komorowska
Helena Matejska
Zygmunt Król

Produced by

Studio Filmowe Perspektywa

Copy: Filmoteka Narodowa, Warschau