The film is set in a small town near Warsaw, to which a young and coming director comes to produce a classic play (Wyspianski "Wyzwolenie") with a modern vein. Everyone in the production gets his usual stereotypical role, but the aging idol of the ensemble senses opportunity to give the performance of his life. For young director everything is already set. The leading man, however, is not giving up and is trying to restore the role according to his view. His wife listens to his fears, complaints and frustrations, while resigning herself to a fading career in a puppet theatre.
Talented Polish female director Agnieszka Holland who would be better known in later years because of her films like Europa, Europa (1991) or some of her American works like Washington Square (1997), hits the mark early and again with this ostensible story about provincial actors in Poland. In reality, the comedy-drama can be read as a commentary on the contemporary Polish scene in politics and society. The story begins as a savvy director arrives in a small town to put on a stage play. His leading man is filled with insecurities and goes beyond the confines of his lead role to expand his part, restore his cut lines, and generally outdo himself while taking on some of everyone else's job, including the director's. No one wants to lose him because of his drawing power, and the director is caught in a bind. At the same time, the lead actor's wife is slowly losing her chances at success, being relegated to a much lesser position in the troupe. This fine comedy won the Fipresci award at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.