Poland 1975, “Dzieje grzechu” (original title), 124 min, colour, Polish dir Walerian Borowczyk sc Walerian Borowczyk, based on a novel by Stefan Żeromski cam Zygmunt Samosiuk ed Lidia Pacewicz mus Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy cast Grażyna Długołęcka, Jerzy Zelnik, Olgierd Łukaszewicz, Roman Wilhelmi, Marek Walczewski, Karolina Lubieńska, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz prod Helena Nowicka pc Studio Filmowe „Tor” sales Studio Filmowe „Tor”
Based on the novel by the Positivist author Stefan Żeromski, Story of Sin is Borowczyk’s singular Polish feature film. Grażyna Długołęcka, here making her film debut, plays Ewa Pobratyńska, the doomed heroine whose passion for a married anthropology student take her on a perilous journey across early twentieth century Europe. Casting a critical eye on the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church, Story of Sin counts as Borowczyk’s most passionate film, a delirious melodrama that reaches an almost surrealistic pitch. Shot almost completely handheld by master cinematographer Zygmunt Samosiuk (who makes a brief cameo with Borowczyk in drag), Story of Sin makes excellent use of Mendelssohn’s violin concerto. A critical and commercial success both at home and abroad, The Story of Sin was Poland’s official entry at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival.