wealth by the communist state aer the war. e entire movie positions itself as a satire, showing the inner contradictions of an enterprise run in conditions of central planning, invigilation, censorship and scarcity – all of which were rampant in mid-1980s Poland. Aer the stoker, we meet the workers representing increasing levels of importance: the scullery maids complaining about the smugness of waiters, the cleaning women revealing the piggish behaviour of the guests, the cook and the pastry chef both taking pride in being able to work with food and produce not easily obtainable in regular stores. e upward trajectory finally takes us to the accountants and the director of the hotel himself, a burly man declaring his team to be “one happy family”. is cheerful final statement is seemingly reinforced by the film’s return to colour (aer the first shot of the exterior of the hotel, all subsequent scenes were presented in sepia), but its optimism is undermined by everything we have seen so far: members of various groups and professions deeply distrusting one another and never once mentioning anything like a shared purpose or actual pride. Along the way, there are cracks and oand statements hinting at the sinister underbelly of the hotel’s power structure. Of all those hints and complaints, none is more powerful than the words of one of the cleaning women, recalling the brutally thwarted riots of December 1970, and defining herself as a “1970 widow” – thus signalling her husband had been killed in the struggle with the state militia. at moment is the only passage in the entire film where the playful piano score is muted, so that Łoziński can honour the woman’s pain.
job is, while we see them walking haplessly down the corridors; the cloakroom attendant complains about the stress of his job – and Łoziński shows him nodding oﬀ on duty. e film is beautifully put together and works best as a vivid and ironic snapshot of Polish society in a state of inertia. Everyone complains and nobody is acting; the power structure is stifling enough to discourage any dreams of a better future. Traces of racism and homophobia are also present, while the typical disregard for state property enters an epic phase characteristic of communist decay: one of the scullery maids declares that as many as 500-600 glasses can disappear from the hotel in a single night, while other dishes are smashed by the waiters who don’t care about what is not their property anyway. And yet, the final shots of the film salute the everyday labour happening at the hotel. Łoziński stages a series of group shots in which every employee is introduced – not by name, but by the function they perform. It is in these shots that we see the multitude of people needed to make a place like the Grand Hotel come alive, even if the state they happen to live in is ailing and about to fall.
One of the chief techniques employed by Łoziński throughout My Place is a clash of the spoken words with the shown image. e porters speak of how dangerous their
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World of Shorts (WOSH), the magazine published by Daazo.