The main character is a young student who, through study, reflection and contact with others seeks the “truth”. However, despite his efforts, he does not experience the illumination – available, according to medieval philosophy, to only some of the sages and philosophers.
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"Illumination" is one of those films that needs to be seen more then once.On the surface,its the simple story of a man's life,but director Krzysztof Zanussi isn't interested in the straightforward account of a life.He blends fiction with documentary, to give us an existentialist view of a life,through the thoughts of a individual. A difficult, but intriguing film,that on occasions delves into the surreal.
A simple, episodic life-story of a young man, that sets his initial belief in the study of science as the means to true knowledge against the rest of what he sees and experiences, including factory labour, marriage, 70s drug culture, electro-shock therapy, a monastery with dead bodies and glimpses of war. It has the myopic individualism of Wenders, but in Communist Poland this arguably has a political value.