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The Bluebeard

Krzysztof Zanussi
West Germany, Switzerland 1983 / 92’

In 1983 I couldn't consider making a poignant film in Poland and frankly speaking I was not sure if I could make any film at all - that's the director's explanation for why he accepted the offer to make a film adaptation of a novella by Max Frisch. Zanussi called Bluebeard an exercise in calligraphy. He remembers it as a serious challenge because the Swiss author had never agreed to an adaptation of his work before. It was a success - not only did Frisch accept the screenplay, but he even agreed to appear in the film. The somewhat perverse story of a man involved in the death of one of his six ex-wives is full of eroticism, playing with reality and imagination, mixing seriousness and irony.

For Polish audiences it is one of the most mysterious films by Zanussi, as it is barely known in the director's homeland. It was never screened at cinemas in Poland and was shown on TV only in 1988. Even printed collections of screenplays do not include Bluebeard, although the script was published in Germany soon after the film's premiere. Hence the opportunity to see it is even more valuable.

Mirella Napolska

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