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History Film / TheMaidsOfWilko

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''The Maids of Wilko'' (Panny z Wilka) is a 1979 film from Poland directed by Creator/AndrzejWajda.

The time frame is a little vague but appears to be late 1920s (definitely later than 1923). Wiktor is an unmarried 40-year-old man who manages a factory in Warsaw. The sudden death of his friend Jurek from pneumonia throws Wiktor into a tailspin. In need of some rest and relaxation, he takes a break from work and goes to the country. In fact, he to his family's farm, a place that Wiktor hasn't visited in fifteen years, now owned by his uncle.

However Wiktor winds up spending the bulk of his time at the neighboring farm, Wilko. When he was a young man, Wiktor worked as a tutor for the six, count 'em, six daughters of the Wilko family. All six had crushes on him back in the day. The oldest, Fela, has since died, but five daughters are still on the Wilko farm. Eldest daughter Julia is married; her husband now runs the farm and seems to dislike his sisters-in-law. Second daughter Jola is unhappily married. Kazia, a divorcee, is looked down on by the others and seems to be a quasi-servant. Zosia is the most cynical about Wiktor's presence in the household. Tunia, the youngest and most innocent of the Wilko girls, immediately falls in love with handsome Wiktor.


* BlindIdiotTranslation: It isn't about domestic servants. The Polish word ''Panny'' translates into "maid" in the older sense of maidens, young women, virgin girls. The film is sometimes also referred to in English as ''The Young Girls of Wilko'' or ''The Girls of Wilko''.
* DeadGuyJunior: One of Julia's daughters is named Fela after Julia's deceased older sister.
* DrivenToSuicide: Implied but not definitively stated with Fela. The others seem to be reluctant to talk about how she died. She is buried in a side corner of the cemetery, not the Wilko family crypt, and her grave is untended and overgrown with weeds.
* HollywoodMidlifeCrisis: Wiktor is adrift at the age of 40 and shaken after his friend's death. He describes his own life as "stupid and meaningless" and regrets his "aimless wandering."
* IdenticalGrandfather: In the one brief moment where Fela is seen in flashback, she's played by the same actress who plays her younger sister, Tunia.
* MaamShock: Wiktor is startled when Tunia calls him "sir" and insists she address him by his first name.
* NoNameGiven: Wiktor's aunt and uncle are never named.
* SecretlyDying: Towards the end of the film Wiktor's uncle sways and nearly faints in the stable. He then admits to Wiktor that he's dying. He hasn't told anybody, as even his wife doesn't know what he's talking about when he bids Wiktor goodbye with a comment about how they'll probably never meet again.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Kasia has short, mannish hair, wears glasses, and dresses rather frumpily--she might be a coded lesbian if it weren't for the obvious unrequited love she shows for Wiktor. Everyone is surprised the night of the party, when Kasia comes out all dolled up, with [[TheGlassesGottaGo the glasses gone]], in one of her sister's old dresses.
-->'''Wiktor''': You look fabulous!
* SiblingTriangle: More like a Sibling Dodecahedron. Tunia asks Wiktor to marry her, he flirts with both Julia and Jola, and Kasia is still in love with him even though she pretends as if her feelings were in the past.
-->'''Zosia''': Which of us are you visiting today?
* ShipperOnDeck: Wiktor's aunt tells him directly that he should marry pretty young Tunia, who is besotted with him.
* SpeechCentricWork: A lot of people hanging out in a grand old farmhouse, talking about their feelings and the past.
* TitleDrop: Wiktor's aunt, who is trying to get him married off, says "The young ladies of Wilko will regret they didn't wait for her."
* TheXOfY: ''The Maids of Wilko''
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: A theme. Wiktor seems to feel as if he no longer belongs at the farm house. He expresses feelings at one time or another for most of the Wilko sisters, but can't seem to bring any of them happiness, not even Tunia, the one who would happily have left with him if he'd asked.

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