The Maids of Wilko

The Maids of Wilko is a 1979 Polish drama film directed by Andrzej Wajda. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 52nd Academy Awards. "Maids" is used in the sense of "maidens", hence another translation could be The Maidens of Wilko.


At the age of 40, Wiktor Ruben (Daniel Olbrychski) returns to the family property (Wilko) where he'd spent his late teens/early twenties as a tutor of young sisters. Now they are all adult women - mostly wives and mothers. Wiktor discovers that Fela, once the closest to him, has been dead for some time; the other sisters aren't keen to talk about her, and her grave is mostly forgotten. He is also disappointed by how all the women have changed. Julia (Anna Seniuk), now a mother of two, doesn't resemble his first object of desire and doesn't show him the affection he might have expected. Jola (Maja Komorowska), seemingly unhappy in her marriage, chases him and makes fun of him until he doesn't bring the painful memories of the past. Kazia (Krystyna Zachwatowicz), a divorcee - and thus treated as less worthy than the others - is the most demanding partner of his intellectual reflections, while Zosia (Stanisława Celińska) is - as always - distant and outspoken. That leaves him with Tunia (Christine Pascal), who was only a child when he previously knew her, and who now resembles Fela. Wiktor spends time in Wilko, but isn't able to see that his return restored once forgotten dreams and hopes to the sisters.