Leave No Traces

Żeby nie było śladów

Directed by: Jan P. Matuszyński

Set in Poland in 1983 and based on actual events, Leave No Traces concerns the case of Grzegorz Przemyk, a high school student beaten to death by authorities in a Warsaw police station. In order to prevent news of this incident reaching the public, the government moves quickly to cover it up. Consequently, Jurek, a close friend of Grzegorz and the only eyewitness to the beating, becomes the number one enemy of the state. Soon the regime invokes its entire power and security apparatus—the secret service, militia, the media, and the courts—to intimidate into silence Jurek and others close to the case, including his parents and Grzegorz’s mother. Jurek must fight to preserve the truth, but the odds are stacked against him. Matuszyński’s powerful film debuted in competition at the 2021 Venice Film Festival.

“Leave No Traces presents a veritable litany of institutional rot … Kacper Fertacz’s cinematography paints the airless, oppressive political climate of the ’80s in smudgy shadows and tea-stained browns.”

Guy Lodge, Variety

In Polish with English subtitles
Historical Drama
160 min
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[Horák] matches each of the film’s periods to a different style: the 1960s to the Czech New Wave, the 1970s to normalization films, and the 1980s to documentary-like grainy footage. The stylisation enables a fine adjustment of dramatic effects”

(Martin Kudláč, Cineuropa).


  • Bulgarian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards 2018
  • Golden Rose Festival of Bulgarian film: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Critics Gild Award and Audience Award
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