In this dramatic and wickedly subversive portrayal of the tense conflict between students and teachers at a country summer school for linguistics, Zanussi offers a subtle but fierce critique of Communist Party politics and the precariousness of success in a socialist society. Zanussi once said that he chose to study physics because “the ideological pressure [of Stalinism] didn’t apply to the world of precise calculation.” But linguistics is another matter altogether, for words are slippery and fraught with peril. —MoMA
Krzysztof Zanussi (b. 1939) is a Polish director, screenwriter, producer and author. He was born in Warsaw and studied philosophy at Jagiellonian University in Krakow and physics at Warsaw University, before graduating from the Lodz Film School in 1966.
Zanussi is considered one of Europe’s most renowned film auteurs, whose disciplined contemporary dramas focus on the moral choices and metaphysical questions in everyday life. His works are often described as intellectual and deeply philosophical.
My cinema above all comes from literature, and, in this sense, it becomes a kind of a human language. The idea of the visual component in film as dominant has always evoked my skepticism. – Film magazine, 1992
His graduation film was The Death of a Provincial Man (1958), after which he went on to direct two television dramas and his feature debut The Structure of Crystal (1969), for which he received many international awards at festivals including the Panama International… read more