The story of a doctor named Tomasz who questions his beliefs, faith and morality as the end of his life is near, so he makes all efforts to find dignity in his imminent death.
The final film—which swept the Polish Film Awards—in our Krzysztof Zanussi retrospective brings us to the post-Communist era of Poland today. An eloquent drama about the quest for spiritual harmony while facing death, it asks vital questions about how to accept the world as it changes around you.
Profoundly religious. Zanussi masterfully avoids any convoluted discourses and the use of overly dramatic tones.
The result, a monastic account of mankind struggle in this existence.
A masterpiece which is a prayer chanted in tears.
The process of reckoning with death begins (with) the process of reconciling ones life. The messy human passage through (& the centrality of) that subjective, dialectical process. Anyway, the living need to experience death to know life, so it’s a gift too, isn’t it? Even a sacrifice. W/ Parajanov-inspired interjections of/by the transcendent, a little Bergman, and an extraordinary performance by Zapasiewicz. 3.75
Zanussi looks into the abyss with this wonderful film about mortality, faith and acceptance. Zbigniew Zapasiewicz is spectacular here as an aged physician suffering from inoperable cancer who must accept his fate and struggle with the concept of faith. The script is perhaps Zanussi's most approachable and certainly his most humanistic.
PC. The film within the film is a Catholic parable that reproduces itself in the film much less directly, by levels of repudiation of the ultimate path that leads believers to their abode: death. The whole film is more a discussion and fear's disturbance than an acceptance, and what Zanussi magnificently performs, like some Ermanno Olmis' films, is to build a materia(l) exystence in(to) a non-materia/faith system.
A reflection on mortality. Sublime film that deals with acceptance of death and many fundamental questions of the last moments of a man's existence. A must watch film by Zanussi. “I believe that one cannot appreciate life without appreciating death.”