January 27, 2023

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Brokat PRL is a rich Netflix series worth watching to review

Summer 1976 in Sopot. The sun drenched the entire city, and we hit the party spot. Actually, party is not the right word. We happened to launch the launch tour at the beginning of the summer. The story takes place in a luxury hotel, where Lieutenant Borewitz likely has more than one case to explain. However, at the moment there are quite a few representatives of the security service sitting there and doing what they like best, namely, monitoring. They don’t like Italian journalistwho stayed in one of the flats, as part of the investigation, local prostitute Helena (Magdalena Popawowska) is scheduled to spend the night with him so that the officers can obtain compromising evidence “just in case”.


Sex Work in the People’s Republic of Poland – Was It That Idyllic?


Far more important than how we share Helena is how we spend time with her. camera eye Showing us around her beautiful and spacious apartment, we see how the heroine prepares for the evening. For her, it’s time to work, so you have to look perfect. She is a professional and you can see that she has already spent a lot of time in the sex industry, so she knows all the rules and creates a lot of them herself. In the first episodes, we accompany Helena in her routine of life, which was available to only a few at the time. You can see that he doesn’t have to worry about money. He lives slowly and without stress.


The situation of the other two prostitutes, Paula and Marcia, is slightly different. Paula (Victoria Velos) has just lost her license to run her own business, selling shampoo, and Marcia (Matilda Gigno) has to support her studies and college dorm, but she’s doing poorly.


Screenwriter Aleksandra Chmielewska explained that she was inspired to talk about prostitutes from the 1970s by Anna Dobrowolska, a historian dealing with women’s sex work in the People’s Republic of Poland. The screenwriter dealt with a period when Poles felt a certain slackness, which translated into greater moral freedom.


I just wonder if Helena, Paula and Marcia are not very contemporary heroines of the seventies. Their self-confidence, their self-esteem, their awareness of the importance of sex work rather prove that we are dealing with characters from modern soap operas. On “07 Come On” it sounded a little different. This is not to say that Krzysztof Szmagier’s “07 Report” series was a historical record of the era, but it certainly captured the moment thanks to the fact that scripts were written on a regular basis. Not knowing the realities of the period, I wonder if this is not an oversimplification.


And whether Scarbona from Szmagher will get along with Helena from Procat. Was the life of prostitutes really so idyllic in the People’s Republic of Poland in the 1970s?




The most elegant series of the year. Style, shine, shine


“Glitter” is beautifully shot. The tires are well thought out and nicely lit. The series is the most elegant production I’ve seen this year. Kudos to the creators for the attention to detail. The hotel interiors, the meals in the restaurant, the heroines’ dresses, their hair, their makeup – everything is ecstatically beautiful and you can’t take your eyes off Sopot and its inhabitants who are so painted. Congratulations not only to cinematographer Bowie Fliess, but also to the creators: Anita Brzozowska for makeup and Katarzyna Judrzyjczyk for set design. The costumes are great too (Bravo Agata Colak).

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The plot likes to wander in the imagination of the characters and gives us completely unrealistic impressions. Detachment from reality does not disturb the viewer because it is a natural signal of the characters’ thoughts and their current well-being. This is clearly seen in the fourth episode (“It’s Going Sunny”) when Helena leaves town and spends the day on a small beach near a small seaside town. Everything there happens apart from the present “here and now”. In particular, the scene of eating ice cream and picking berries is an example of carefree commentary to play around with the picture and sound a bit.



Songs, songs, songs


“Brokat” is a journey into the Polish song past. We hear for example Andre and Elisa’s “Time to Relax” and lesser-known songs from the 70s, or rather – slightly forgotten songs of that decade. A similar trick is used in Jan Holoubek’s “Rojście”, reminiscent of Andrzej Zaucha’s “I Invented You” in the opening scene of the series, and – as a leitmotif – Izabela Trojanowska’s “Everything I Want Today” performed by Monica Brodka.


Time to relax?


series It’s even worse when trying to tell a complex story about heroines. The closer we got to the final, the more we got stuck in the shallows. There are a few cliches and dialogue that we hear somewhere in the text. When Brocat tries to get serious about heroines, she loses ground. When it is a sound postcard from the 1976 Sopot Festival, it looks the best and most sincere.

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The aesthetics of “Glitter” is close to the first season’s “Rojst” by Jan Holoubek, as well as “Córkom Dancingu” by Agnieszka Smoczyńska. The retro atmosphere, tinted with songs from the past decades, is a new direction in which the creators of the series find themselves getting better and better. Glitter finds himself well in stories about habits and the eye-catching moments after which everything changes. So, when social and political changes are imminent in the country, the series ends. The creators’ ambition was not to diagnose the political problems of the People’s Republic of Poland in the mid-1970s, but to talk about the women of that period. And it worked. In “Glitter” the role of Magdalena Popławska shines even brighter, clearly standing out from the rest of the acting creations. He is met by Adam (Łukasz Simlat) and Carmen performed by Katarzyna Warnik. The whole thing is directed by Anna Kazyjak, who is known for ex. As director of the series “Szdź”. It is worth a try.