Janina Duszejko, an elderly woman, lives alone in the Klodzko Valley where a series of mysterious crimes are committed. Duszejko is convinced that she knows who or what is the murderer, but nobody believes her.
2,804 ( 404)
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


Credited cast:
Patrycja Volny ...
Dobra Nowina
Prokurator Swierszczynski
Prezes Mayor Wolsky
Zona Prezesa
Ksiadz Szelest
Sebastian Pawlak ...
Katarzyna Skarzanka ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Edwin Bazanski
Katarzyna Bednarz ...
Secretary in the prosecutor's office


Janina Duszejko, an elderly woman, lives alone in the Klodzko Valley where a series of mysterious crimes are committed. Duszejko is convinced that she knows who or what is the murderer, but nobody believes her.

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Release Date:

24 February 2017 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Cez kosti mrtvych  »

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Did You Know?


Was chosen as Polish candidate to Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2017. See more »


Referenced in Na plovárne: Na plovárne s Agnieszkou Holland (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

Crime thriller hidden under struggle against needlessly hunting animals. Berlinale 2017 jury awarded it deservedly with Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize
9 March 2017 | by (Amersfoort, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Seen at the Berlinale 2017. Though it was marked "out of competition" for the Golden Bear, it deservedly got the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize anyway. Lead protagonist Janina is retired but still teaches English at a local school. Her pupils admire her, contrary to the school board who is less happy. She is a convinced vegetarian and frowns on hunting, which is the favorite sport of nearly all local villagers. Apart from her continuous struggle against needless hunting, there are also crime thriller elements involved when people are found dead from time to time without any tracks or other useful clues to help the police.

The movie is structured in chapters following the hunting calendar, something we see Janina stealing from the police office. She has frequent contacts there to file complaints over violations of same calendar. It is useless as the police does nothing about it, understandable with high placed policemen who are heavily involved in hunting themselves. Janina is persistent in her struggle for animal welfare, but her complaints are ignored. Her evenso persistent inclination to involve astrology in everything, hampers her believability and is often an excuse to send her away. And being an independent and retired woman (some think: useless) does not help either.

This movie is apparently about corruption, a popular theme in movies in former communist countries. It is a broader theme than only lust for money or a high position. Self-serving bureaucrats or bending rules for egoistic reasons, are also forms of corruption, maybe weaker variants but still. Clearly, the authorities (mainly the police) does not care much about enforcing rules around hunting, being heavily involved in hunting themselves, just like everyone in the elite. This includes the priest, who explains in one of his sermons how useful hunting actually is, actually a divine right given to humans. But Janina is not guiltless herself either, when she organizes a class "excursion" (that is what she calls it when a school administrator has comments) to find her missing dogs. It took place in the dark and within a forest, that is why her superiors are not amused. It may be a weaker form of corruption, I admit it, but still deviating from the rules and putting children unnecessarily at risk to serve her own private interests.

Director Agnieszka Holland won the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for "opening new perspectives", awarded by the Berlinale 2017 International Jury. I'm at a loss what those "new perspectives" can be, maybe the fact that we are watching a whodunit thriller without noticing it along the way, that is until the nasty truth hits us near the finale. However, don't construe my being lost that I'm against this reward. The compelling story line throughout a bit over 2 hours, as well as how the lead performer carries the story, deserve a reward, whatever its earmark.

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