Rated: R
Release Date: 03/08/2024
Production Company: Sony Pictures Classics

Kamila Urzędowska, Robert Gulaczyk,
Mirosław Baka, Sonia Mietielica, Ewa Kasprzyk, Cyprian Grabowski, Cezary Łukaszewicz, Małgorzata Kożuchowska,
Sonia Bohosiewicz, Dorota Stalińska, Andrzej Konopka, Marcin Rusin and Maciej Musiał.

Directors: DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman. Producers: Hugh Welchman, Agne Adomene, Jelena Angelovski, Sean M. Bobbitt, Paul Bragiel Ivan Pribicevic, Desniana Rozhkova, Tomasz Wochniak, Olga Zhurzhenko. Executive Producers: Steve Muench, Tom Ogden, Sita Saviolo, Kyle Stroud. Screenwriters: DK.Welchman, Hugh Welchman and Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont (Novel: "The Peasants"). Cinematographers: Radoslaw Ladczuk, Kamil Polak and Szymon Kuriata.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

In 2017, the husband-and-wife filmmaking duo, Hugh Welchman and Dorota Kobiela garnered critical acclaim--including an Academy Award nomination--for their unique 2017 animated biographical drama "Loving Vincent."
That movie was about the mysterious death of painter Vincent van Gogh and was the first fully painted animated feature film. Now, Welchman and Kobiela have returned with "The Peasants," another adult, animated, movie that is even more visually stunning and arresting.

"The Peasants" is like watching an exquisite oil painting come to life. The Polish drama is a startling combination of live action and art that is fascinating to watch unfold.

This late 19th Century story of family, lust, greed, and revenge centers on Jagna Paczesiowna (Kamila Urzedowska, "25 Years of Innocence") a beautiful young woman living in the farming village of Lipce, Poland.

Jagna is a free spirit. Her rebellious streak doesn't sit well with the conservative community at large. She lives with her widowed mother Marcjanna Paczes Dominikowa (Ewa Kasprzyk) and does her share of the farming chores. Jagna has no interest in marriage and certainly isn't about to have someone choose a mate for her.

Her looks are an asset and a curse. Jagna is sought after by many men who lie and brag they've had their way with her. She is however, attracted to an older married man named Antek (Robert Gulaczyk) whose temperamental and recently widowed father Boryna (Miroslaw Baka) owns a lot of the land. Boryna is persuaded by some in town that he should pursue Jagna, but she has absolutely no interest in him.

When Antek and Jagna's secret affair is open, it brings out the worst in Boryna. Others like the mayor’s wife (Sonia Bohosiewicz) and organist’s wife (Małgorzata Kozuchowska) condemn her actions and humiliate Jagna publicly. It's "The Scarlet Letter" all over again.

Will Antek and Jagna run away and try and start a new life? Too many barriers are in the way including land and not to mention Antek's once dutiful wife Hanka (Sonia Mietielica). The plot thickens when Antek and Jagna are caught together in the forest. It sets up a vicious showdown with Jagna, the families and the nosy townspeople.

"The Peasants" is at times a dark and violent movie. It's also a stylish and alluring one. It would have been just as compelling without the unique animation, but the addition of the film's painted tapestry turns it into a worthy and distinct work of art.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Look At This Trailer For "THE PEASANTS"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Year Released: 1975
Running Time: 109
Production Company: Paramount Pictures
Director: Berry Gordy, Tony Richardson and Jack Wormser
Director of Photography: David Watkin
Screenwriter: John Byrum and Toni Amber
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs


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