Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
The movie Seksmisja (translated as ‘Sexmission’) was made in 1984 by Janusz Machulski – one of the most popular directors of that period. The action of the movie starts in the future – that is in 1991 – when Polish television shows experiment that will be performed on 2 volunteers: Maks and Albert. They decide to be hibernated. As they wake up in 2044, the world looks differently from the reality they knew. As the nuclear war broke out during their long-term sleep, the male genes were destroyed. Albert and Maks are the only man on the earth!
The above scenario seems to be ideal dream for many men. The two characters of ‘Seksmisja’ also seem not to be aware of the danger that they have been situated in. All the women seem to be better off without male citizens of the world, eliminating any needs that are connected with their existence (for example through stimulated artificial insemination). They even consequently deny the essence of having man in the world, teaching new generations of women that they were the main destroying power in the world that did more bad than good. They were so far in falsification of the history that they even claim that all the most important representatives of art and science – like Copernicus – were actually female.
Of course it is not the idea of the one-sex world that is unique (as this motive has been used before and after). As the movie was made during the communism in Poland, it is full of hints at the regime, most of the time they are gently hidden otherwise censorship would remove it. The allusions are especially possible as the whole underground world, in which our two main characters woke up, reminds the regime in which the Poles lived at that time. The move may be perceived as a satire directed at totalitarianism.
In 2005 Seksmisja was proclaimed the best Polish film of the last 30 years (the poll was carried out by three popular magazines). It was not only great idea that added to the success of the film by Machulski but also great play of actors playing Albert and Maks – Olgierd Lukasiewicz and Jerzy Stuhr. This cult Polish comedy gave them popularity that those two actors will enjoy still for a long time. It is also probably one of few Polish films that gained popularity in other countries (I was myself surprised to watch it on German TV and to hear from my Czech acquaintances that they love that film). Some of the sayings, from this movie, are still popular. I, myself, love that movie. I do not know if there are any words that would describe my admiration to the art that director and actors created. The film is certainly worth recommending!