An old woman works in the men’s lavatory in the basement of a public building. The sound of footsteps on the floor above her brings a reverie of her youth. She completes a set of memories that takes her from passion to maternal love to rejection and tragedy. Her memories are in color, while her dull ‘present’ is in black and white. The idea for Polanski’s short movie (his diploma piece from Film School Lodz and his first one in color) was taken from a short story “Klozet Babcia”, written by Leszek Szymanski.
The son of a Polish Jew and a Russian immigrant, Polanski was born in Paris on August 18, 1933. When he was three, his family moved to the Polish town of Krakow, an unfortunate decision given that the Germans invaded the city in 1940. Things went from bad to worse with the formation of Krakow’s Jewish ghetto, and Polanski’s family was the target of further persecution when his parents were deported to a concentration camp. Just before he was to be taken away, however, Polanski’s father helped his son escape, and the boy managed to survive with help from kindly Catholic families, although he was at times forced to fend for himself. (At one point, the Germans decided to use Polanski for idle target practice.) It was during this period that Polanski became a devoted cinephile, seeking refuge in movie houses whenever possible. Shortly after sustaining serious injuries in an explosion, Polanski learned of his mother’s death at Auschwitz. His father survived the camps, and moved back to Krakow… read more
Pretty impressive to track Polanski's progress as a filmmaker from "Murder" to "When Angels Fall". In only a couple of years with minimal experience he was able to elevate his craft. I wish I could have been apart of this film school during this era, where special people were emerging as great filmmakers without having to hammer themselves with experience.