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(Drogówka), Wojciech Smarzowski, PL 2013, Polish version / Czech and English subtitles, 112 min

This gritty, gripping, intelligently-made crime thriller, takes place on the mean streets of contemporary Warsaw and exposes the corruption endemic to the police – and society at large. Helmer-scribe Smarzowski focuses on seven police officers, members of the eponymous division, who are friends as well as colleagues, and whose lives change after one of their number dies in mysterious circumstances. As much a social critique as a genre piece, the pic has already passed the million admissions mark in Poland. As in Smarzowski’s earlier features, the multi-layered narrative takes place in a nihilistic world where human venality and immorality are the order of the day. One can even see each of the policemen as representing one of the seven deadly sins, although the script never overplays this aspect. Personifying pride is chief protagonist Sgt. Krol (Bartłomiej Topa), a cocky, independent-minded cop who is having an affair with his partner.

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