A period crime story bordering on thriller, which is an unusual combination in Polish cinema. The film is evocative of the much later works of Marek Krajewski.
One of the few crime movies made by Tadeusz Chmielewski, a screenwriter and film producer known mostly for his comedy films; he received the Platinum Lions lifetime achievement award at the Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia in 2015.
The screenplay is loosely based on the novel " Superintendent Heumann Investigates" by Czech writer Ladislav Fuks.
Among others, the film owes its unique atmosphere to the masterful camerawork of Jerzy Stawicki, hypnotising score written by Jerzy Matuszkiewicz and perfectly crafted production design by Teresa Smus-Barska, which earned the film an award at the Polish Feature Film Festival.
Superb acting and intelligent screenplay contribute to the exceptional psychological credibility of the main characters.
The film tells the story of a serial murder investigation while also exploring a conflict between a father and son.
In 1923, a town in Pomerania is haunted by a serial killer murdering small boys. Initially, the investigation headed by police commissioner Herman fails to produce any results. Psychosis and panic intensify among the town's inhabitants. Apart from running a difficult investigation and having to deal with superiors and the public opinion, the overbearing, stern commissioner is also having family problems, as he becomes increasingly conflicted with his teenage son. In an attempt to spite his father, the boy helps a potential murderer. Wiktor is willing to go even further, with the commissioner eventually forced to choose between justice and his only child.