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Andrzej Żuławski
France, West Germany 1981 / 124’
That Most Important Thing: Love Snow White and Russian Red

Life is the source of madness and for Andrzej Żuławski the impulse to make this film was the disintegration of his relationship with Małgorzata Braunek. Instead of a straightforward autobiography, we get an exuberant, fantastic metaphor. The unfolding marital horror takes place in a divided Berlin. The husband returns home from a business trip to discover his wife cheating on him with two lovers, one of whom is not a man, but a monster straight from the paintings of H.R. Rudolf Giger. In a shabby apartment, the woman has intercourse with a slimy, phallic essence that represents the madness that has been growing in her for some time. The grotesque horror grows increasingly bizarre, exaggerated, and histrionic. This uncompromising work is an important point of reference for some of the leading visionaries of contemporary cinema - it inspired Gaspar Noe's Climax and Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water.

Piotr Mirski


Cannes IFF 1981 – Best Actress; São Paulo IFF 1981 – Critics Award; César Awards 1982 – Best Actress; Fantasporto 1983 – Audience Jury Award – Special Mention, Best Actress

Andrzej Żuławski

Żuławski was born in 1940 and passed away in 2016. He was one of the most original and controversial artists in the history of Polish cinema. Żuławski studied Directing at IDHEC in Paris and gained professional experience as assistant to Andrzej Wajda. He debuted with The Third Part of the Night followed by a turbulent career in which he struggled with communist censorship, alternating between moving away and returning to Poland. Ultimately, most of his films were produced abroad and the best-known works include That Most Important Thing: Love, Possession and On the Silver Globe.

Selected filmography

1971 Trzecia część nocy / The Third Part of the Night

1972 Diabeł / The Devil

1975 Najważniejsze to kochać / L’important c’est d’aimer / That Most Important Thing: Love

1981 Opętanie / Possession

1987 Na srebrnym globie / On the Silver Globe

2015 Kosmos / Cosmos

Cast & Crew

director Andrzej Żuławski
screenplay Andrzej Żuławski, Frederic Tuten
cinematography Bruno Nuytten
editing Marie-Sophie Dubus, Suzanne Lang-Willar
music Andrzej Korzyński
cast Sam Neill, Isabelle Adjani, Heinz Bennent, Margit Carstensen, Johanna Hofer
producer Marie-Laure Reyre
production Gaumont, Oliane Productions, Marianne Productions, Soma Film Produktion
sales Studio TF 1
language English, French, German
colouration colour