The Closed Circuit (Układ zamknięty) is a Polish crime drama from 2013. Inspired by true events that took place in 2003, it tells the story of several Gdańsk businessmen who are accused of corruption when district prosecutor Andrzej Kostrzewa, a former high-level Communist official, decides that he wants to take over their business. He enlists the help of several easily corrupted government officials, and they accuse the businessmen of money laundering and throw them in prison. The film depicts corruption in the highest circles of Poland, and the contrast between the new, postcommunist generation and the older one.
The film’s director, Ryszard Bugajski, called the film a story about “the battle between good and bad,” according to Culture.pl. He sees the film as not just a crime drama but as illuminating the climate of business and politics in postcommunist Poland. Bugajski is a prominent figure in contemporary Polish filmmaking and perhaps also a moral authority: he made his first film, Interrogation, in 1982 to expose the horrors of the Polish communist regime. It took place in the 1950s and told the story of a woman who refused to collaborate with the Polish secret police. Banned by the authorities, it circulated underground.
The Closed Circuit received positive reviews in Poland and internationally. It was also highly popular among Polish audiences, becoming one of the year’s highest-grossing films. However, and unsurprisingly, the film was politically very controversial, attracting censure from Polish politicians. It was nominated for one Polish Film Award, the best actor award for Janusz Gajos.
Director: Ryszard Bugajski
Stars: Janusz Gajos, Kazimierz Kaczor, Wojciech Żołądkowicz, Robert Olech, Przemysław Sadowski, Jarosław Kopaczewski
Production company: Filmicon, Kino Świat