The title of this film — taken from graffiti on a wall near director Krzysztof Zanussi’s home — provides ironic commentary on its subject, which revolves around a doctor’s questioning of his beliefs when he is confronted with terminal illness. Tomasz is first seen working as the doctor on the set of a French movie production about the life of Saint Bernard. After his work is finished, he returns to Warsaw, where he makes the unpleasant discovery that he has cancer. Tomasz’ only hope is an expensive operation in Paris, and he is forced to ask his ex-wife Anna — now remarried to a self-important yuppie — for money. Anna writes him a check, but when he goes to Paris for the operation, Tomasz is informed that his condition has become inoperable. Facing imminent death, he begins to question the beliefs he has held all his life and, with a sense of fatalistic liberation, starts to experiment with both his own life and those of others. —NY Times
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