1985 – 35mm – colore – 120′


Direction: Krzysztof Zanussi

Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi

Cinematography: Conrad L. Hall, Slawomir Idziak, Pier Luigi Santi

Editing: Huguette Pierson

Set design: Peter Scharff

Music: Wojciech Kilar

Costumes: Eliane Viles

Cast: Marie-Christine Barrault, Vittorio Gassman, Benjamin Volz, Raf Vallone, Erika Wackernagel, Valeria Attinelli, Matteo Corvino, Michel Monsay, Cinzia De Ponti, Hervé Bellon

Producers: Enzo Peri, Claude Pierson, Ulrich Nagel, Jean-Pierre Voronowski, Tony Molière

Production: Challenge Film And Television Productions Roma, Pierrson Productions Paris



Hubert is a young and penniless theology student. As he cannot afford to pay his studies, he seeks the help of Goffredo, a wealthy armourer who pretends to be a benefactor, but his life is upset when he meets Sylvia, an attractive and elegant woman, and saves her from suicide. That unknown woman reveals to Hubert that she is escaping from her husband, a sadistic and cruel man who abuses her emotionally and physically. They hide in a little hotel, where the naive boy is seduced by the woman. When Sylvia becomes pregnant, she convinces her lover to go to Goffredo’s home and kill him to seize his money. But there are many other sad twists of fate in store for them.



Power of Evil, whose subtitle is Paradigma as if in reference to the supreme questions expressed in the film, is a modern parable on the weakness of man, who is even more exposed to sin when he naively believes that hell is empty, and on the illusion created by every renovatio planetaria (planet’s renewal). Therefore, the film is inspired by the classical notion of dramatic Catholicism (…).” (Giovanni Grazzini, Il Corriere della Sera, 28 October 1986)


1985 Mostra di Venezia – Competition

1985 Montréal World FF: Ecumenical Jury Prize