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The Hourglass Sanatorium

Sanatorium pod klepsydrą

Directed by Wojciech Has
Poland, 1973
Fantasy, Drama, Horror


While visiting his father at a dilapidated sanatorium, Joseph discovers that the old man has stopped breathing but hasn’t died. Has his arrival halted time itself? He takes a strange journey through the many rooms of the hospital, each conjuring worlds composed of memories, dreams and nightmares.

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The Hourglass Sanatorium Directed by Wojciech Has

Critics reviews

Here adapting multiple surreal tales by Bruno Schulz, Has concocts a fantastic time loop structure around narratives whose fabulist nature barely masks their reality in the Warsaw Ghetto and the Holocaust
February 25, 2016
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It’s impossible to read Schulz’s richly imaginative prose without recalling his murder by the Gestapo in 1942. Has incorporated allusions to the Holocaust and to prewar Jewish life into his dazzling phantasmagoria, haunting moments that also echoed the anti-Semitic purges of the late 1960s.
October 14, 2015
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…The Hourglass Sanatorium gains in resonance thanks to its contemporary framing. From the opening sequence, in which gaunt, wasted bodies are strewn on hay in a rickety train wagon, memories of the Final Solution permeate the picture. Even though this motif recedes until a much later scene, in which Józef peers through a basement window at his neighbors fleeing in panic, the entire film, as a meditation on death and extinction, is colored by unspeakable terror.
June 01, 2014
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