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The Balance

Krzysztof Zanussi
Poland 1974 / 98’

After The Illumination - an interesting attempt to make a film essay - the director decided to make a film for a wider audience. The Quarterly Balance resembles a contemporary melodrama, although the romantic story serves only as a pretext for deeper reflection while the main character is just another example of someone who strives for moral perfection and wants to save the world by herself - a typical character of Zanussi's. Marta, an accountant in her thirties, hesitates; to stay with her husband and child or to escape everyday life with the spontaneous Jacek, who loves sailing (this role was humorously given to Marek Piwowski, director of The Cruise - Rejs). Sustaining her marriage - which appears healthy, but is actually decayed with routine - means choosing consequences of decisions she once made.For the helpful and unselfish Marta, the thought of carefree living day by day, offered by Jacek, is a choice of freedom and an opportunity to do something for herself at last. In this film moral dilemmas are based on freedom and responsibility, altruism and egoism and they are set against a backdrop of office life in communist Poland and enriched by the impressive acting by Maja Komorowska.

Mirella Napolska

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