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Illuminations: The Films of Krzysztof Zanussi

Illuminations: The Films of Krzysztof Zanussi

Along with Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieślowski, and Jerzy Skolimowski, the award-winning Krzysztof Zanussi is one of the most important Polish auteurs of his generation. Zanussi’s erudite dramas chronicle the challenges of a post-war, educated class in Poland grappling with the country’s radical change to Communism, the burden of their forbearers, and the evolving development of society through the 20th century.

LIFE AS A FATAL SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE

Krzysztof Zanussi Poland, 2000

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.

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ILLUMINATION

Krzysztof Zanussi Poland, 1973

Another of the Krzysztof Zanussi’s tales of the post-war generation of Poles struggling to find meaning and purpose in their lives under Communism. The promise (and struggle) of both love and science define this brilliant film, winner of Locarno’s Golden Leopard.

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THE STRUCTURE OF CRYSTAL

Krzysztof Zanussi Poland, 1969

The award-winning Krzysztof Zanussi, one of the great Polish filmmakers, made his feature debut with this psychologically rich, remarkably mature chamber drama about career vocation (Zanussi studied physics), friendship, and life philosophy.

THE CONSTANT FACTOR

Krzysztof Zanussi Poland, 1980

Through its hero’s eyes—and the travails of a righteous and honest man—we see, at the end of the 1970s, what’s become of the Communist dream. One of Zanussi’s most acclaimed films and the winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

CAMOUFLAGE

Krzysztof Zanussi Poland, 1977

In the cinema of Krzysztof Zanussi, livingly embodied & taut with the internal debates of a transforming society, the clash of Polish generations reaches its pinnacle in this richly erudite drama of debate. His usual university-educated protagonists are under his microscope—a microcosm of a nation.

FAMILY LIFE

Krzysztof Zanussi Poland, 1971

The second feature film from Krzysztof Zanussi, a competitor in the 1971 Cannes Film Festival. In it, a member of Poland’s new generation returns home to confront—and throw off—the shackles of his (and his country’s) past.

LIFE FOR LIFE: MAXIMILIAN KOLBE

Krzysztof Zanussi Poland, 1991

Along with Roman Polanski and Krzysztof Kieślowski, the award-winning Krzysztof Zanussi is one of the most important Polish auteurs of his generation. This story, inspired by a real-life priest’s act, is an incisive observation of the place of faith and the Catholic Church during WWII in Poland.

THE SUPPLEMENT

Krzysztof Zanussi Poland, 2002

Directed by one of the most important Polish auteurs of his generation, Krzysztof Zanussi’s erudite drama The Supplement revisits the characters of his earlier film Life As A Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease, but this time ponders about issues of religion, philosophy and social responsibility.