Polish Cinema: Break up the Dance (Roman Polanski, 1957, Poland)

Break Up the Dance ("Rozbijemy zabawÄ™") is the third student film directed by Roman Polanski while attending the National Film School in Lodz. The film opens with a folk song played on guitar while various young people prepare for a party. The film soon segues to the night of the party, where a man is taking tickets from the attendees. Jazz music plays by a band. Many young couples are dancing at the party. This is shot in a verite style, and it seems that there is an actual party happening.

A group of five young men arrives at the party, trying to get in. The man at the entrance does not let them in. We then cut to a man and woman in a white dresses. From there we return to the Verite footage of the party. The band starts a rowdy version of "When the Saints Come Marching In". The dance continues throughout the night, as various people dance for the camera. The men outside the gates of the party appear to be plotting something. The couple is embracing by a fountain. Then the men scale the gate of the party.

The young men stand on the periphery of the party, smoking. They beat up the guy who was guarding the gate furiously. A fight breaks out as the woman in the white dress tries to intervene. A man dives into the fountain. The music stops and fighting breaks out everywhere, including among the band. The young hooligans begin roughing up everyone at the party. Chairs and furniture are thrown, and clothes are ripped. We hear sounds of pain and violence. The film then cuts to the aftermath of the destroyed party the next morning, as the scarecrow floats in the pond. Polanski shows an explosion of violence in this film.



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