To Kill This Love

This hard-hitting social drama (1972), set against the backdrop of Poland’s extended economic crisis, recalls the topical melodramas that Warner Bros. produced throughout the Great Depression. Two idealistic young lovers, unable to get into college, resolve to save up their money and get their own apartment; the girl takes a low-paying (and often demeaning) position as a nurse’s assistant at a busy hospital, whereas the boy, unemployed and lacking any job skills, turns to petty theft and prostitution. Director Janusz Morgenstern re-creates the look of a direct-cinema documentary, with deliberately messy camerawork and arrhythmic editing that communicate the frightening instability of the characters’ lives. The title has also been translated as This Love Must Be Killed. In Polish with subtitles.