08 | 12 | 2023

"Pisarz" [The Writer]

The film is a portrait of one of the greatest modern writers, essayists, and screenplay authors. Witold Zalewski debuted in the year 1946 with his „Short Stories”. In 1949, another story – „The Weapon” – was published. Then there were many years of enforced silence due to his past as a soldier.

Only in 1960, „The Wounded in the Forest” is published – the most autobiographical of all Zalewski’s books, soon adapted as a movie (it was the debut of Daniel Olbrychski). The personal experience of the author, who spent his childhood in Pomerania, at the military fortress of Grudziądz, became the source for the novel about Polish-German relations „The Prussian Wall” (1964). Then there were articles on exotic travels, essays, short stories. The main character of the novel „Emissary” is a writer, scientist and moralist, who, nearing the end of his life, faces dramatic moral decisions. Zalewski was the literary manager of „Tor” film company for twenty years. He was one of the founders and active members of the conservatorium „Experience and Future”.

The interview with the writer is conducted in his Warsaw apartment and in several other locations in downtown Warsaw, which are related closely to his hero’s story. The authors of the film also went to Gładczyn Szlachecki, where Zalewski used to work and meet with his friends; they also talked to directors of „Tor”, including Krzysztof Zanussi, Edward Żebrowski, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Filip Bajon and Stanisław Różewicz, as well as Stefan Bratkowski. They used the Syrinx for solo flute by Claude Debussy performed by Krzysztof Gruchowski, and the poem by Wisława Szymborska „In the light of the day”, performed by Daniel Olbrychski.

Based on: PAT

"Pisarz" [The Writer]
Directing: Antoni Krauze
Production: Prasa & Film Ltd.
Year of production: 1994