|A cat, dressed as a rabbit|
I'm reluctant to use the English language title, 'Teddy Bear', as I can't believe it's a very accurate translation. The giant straw animal, which has no effect on characters or plot, may be a bear but resembles no teddy I've ever seen, and I suspect it hails from a different tradition entirely. The movie regards a man called Ryszard racing his ex-wife Irena to Britain and withdraw a small fortune the pair lodged in an English bank. At the start she damages his passport, making swift passage through the iron curtain almost impossible, and the body of the film shows his elaborate but almost feasible plan to get to Britain, a scheme which requires him to find his exact double, and cause that double to lose his hair.
|Distressingly, the subtitles were all in yellow comic sans.|
Either way, this is a Poland of austerity, cunning, and government excess, the latter to present a propagandist suggestion of prosperity, hence the giant toy bear. In this picture of Poland, meat is so hard to come by that people have to go to the theatre to see a joint, and restaurants chain their cutlery to the table, but in such a way that only one person can use a spoon at once, as when one person pulls to make the chain longer, their partner's chain gets shorter. I've been told this latter point was a real feature in some Polish cafes, but I'm not sure I believe it.
P.S. Wikipedia claims this film was out in 1980, but IMDB says 1981. I've gone with the earlier date, as it suits my purposes. I have two pretty exciting possibilities for 1981, but my backup for 1980 is famously awful.
This isn't the version of the DVD I saw, so the quality, not least of the subtitles, may be higher