Winner, Golden Lion, Gdynia Film Festival
58-year-old director Waldemar Krzystek grew up under Communism, but 80 Million is less a political drama than a lively hybrid of action movie, heist thriller and dark comedy. Shot in a fairly conventional but fast-paced style, it features double agents, treacherous lovers, divided families, car chases and wily Catholic priests working for the anti-government underground.
The action takes place in the southern Polish city of Wroclaw over 10 days in December 1981, just before the imposition of martial law, a Moscow-approved crackdown designed to crush the growing power of Lech Walesa’s independent trade union Solidarity. Solidarity activists Wladyslaw (Filip Bobek), Maks (Marcin Bosak) and Staszek (Wojciech Solarz) learn about the impending state of emergency from a mysterious Deep Throat character, who may just be a double agent. As martial law will allow the government to freeze the union’s financial assets, they plan a daring mission to withdraw 80 million Polish zlotys from Solidarity’s own bank account.
Like Charlie Wilson’s War or Argo, 80 Million condenses a series of complex historical events into an enjoyably upbeat thrill ride and a universal celebration of victory over tyranny.
Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter