15 Eastern European Cult Classic Films You Should Know About

4AP_002Teddy Bear (Polish: Miś), dir. Stanisław Bareja (1981)

A cult classic film that influenced Polish culture and language (and continues to be quoted today), Teddy Bear used surreal humor to shed light on the absurdity of living under the Communist regime. It centers around a state-sponsored sports club manager named Rysiek (played by Stanisław Tym), who is racing his ex-wife, Irena, to London to be the first to withdraw an enormous sum of money from their joint savings account. Neither wants to share the money with the other, and both have to find a way to get out of the country at a time when the borders are tightly controlled. When Rysiek finds out that his wife invalidated his passport by tearing out some pages, he crafts a scheme with his friend that takes him into the black market and on a hilarious journey through the government’s corruption, bureaucracy, bribery, and general nonsense.