The '80s have just arrived. Central Europe, though, remains gray and bleak. People eke out a living somehow, and it's still better than it was just after the World War II. And yet, underneath the surface, the Solidarity movement is brewing, arguing for the workers' rights, daring to disagree. This unnerves the government much, and plans to quell the workers are made.
Meanwhile, colonel Ryszard Kukliński is leading a double life: while pursuing a career in the army of the Polish People's Republic, he's also giving its secret plans over to CIA. And the double life is putting a considerable strain on himself and his unaware family. But how could he quit, now that he's found out something really sinister...
Tropes found in the movie:
- Civil War: The (very controversial) possibility of this was the justification for Government Conspiracy.
- Cold War
- Government Conspiracy: Real Life one to bring about the martial law and have WRONnote take over (which happened on December 13, 1981).
- Human Mail: The protagonist and his family escape as diplomatic mail of American embassy.
- Ignored Confession: Troper's translation:Siwicki: We've got a traitor on staff. A fucking traitor on staff, spy for the Americans. [...]Skalski: Hmpf... who's on the list of suspects?Siwicki: This isn't a list of suspects! It's the list of possible solutions. Us, Rakowiecki and... the cryptographer, whassis...Walczak: Lieutenant Brzózka.Siwicki: Right, Brzózka!Walczak: If that is the case, I put myself at the disposal of the Military Attorney.Skalski: Me too, then... since everyone does, obviously.Kukliński: Then... in that case... officers, I don't think this is necessary. It's me...Siwicki: This is fucking necessary! Talked to the old man, he's giving himself up, too.Kukliński: You misunderstood. This... this person...Skalski: Got something on your face... Really, the Soviets don't know shit. Except we can do the investigation ourselves, even better than they would, cause we know each other better.
- Military Brat: The colonel's sons are not too keen on continuing the family tradition and becoming officers. Generally Played for Drama.
- Mistaken for Cheating: Kukliński's wife is quite a bit suspicious about his late returns.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: In this case, it's nation, definitely not the government.
- Prevent the War: World War III, to be exact, not only because the inevitable nukes would have rendered Central Europe uninhabitable.
- Reverse Mole
- Run for the Border: In the end.
- Shoe Phone: Camera disguised as a cigarette lighter.
- Spy Fiction: Stale Beer, but with high stakes.
- Warsaw Pact