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Krzysztof Zanussi
Poland, West Germany 1989 / 102’

After making several co-produced historical dramas, Zanussi returns to his earlier poetics, offering a private story, which is universal, although set in contemporary reality. The film's form is characteristically rough, with long, static cuts without countershots, with natural decorations, "complete" sound and improvised dialogues. The plot is almost melodramatic: Tomasz, an idealistic student and Julia, an unstable woman in her thirties meet by accident and unexpectedly fall in love. This simple story served as the framework for a picture Zanussi himself called in his conversation with Tadeusz Sobolewski an almost catechetical film about autoconversion. The artist confronts two extremely different worlds: he brings Julia - irreligious former censor of free attitude to world and morality - into the intellectual, oppositionist and Christian world of Tomasz and his mother Zofia. The meeting is shown as a test - and opportunity - for each character. The film was made during the times of breakthrough - it was made under the censors' authority and premiered in a free Poland. This was one of the reasons why it was rejected by the audience and critics. After some time it seems much more interesting.

Mirella Napolska

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