Beating an old horse, Andrzej Wajda has made a tired and visually miscalculated version of Stanislaw Rembek’s novel “The Condemnation of Franciszek Klos.” Once again visiting the WWII period, Wajda (with co-scenarist Zygmunt Malanowicz) depicts the moral zygote that is Polish policeman Klos (Miroslaw Baka) as he eagerly serves the bloodthirsty ends of Nazis occupying his village. Drama shot on digital video in washed-out color for Polish TV recycles ideas that have been explored more vitally in countless Euro and Yank films. Wajda’s name won’t be enough to give pic international play beyond minor fest exposure.
Receiving a letter from republican fighters in Pole resistance that condemns him to death for murder, bribes and other crimes, Klos kowtows to comically nasty Nazi henchmen while sweating under the collar in front of his wife (Grazyna Blecka-Kolska) and accusatory mother (the venerable Maja Komorowska). Baka’s depiction of a man gone bad is full of repetitive, actorish tics and pales next to his punk murderer in Kieslowski’s “A Short Film About Killing.” Wajda’s staging feels suffocated by TV conventions.