ILLUMINAZIONE Illuminacja Illumination

1973 – 35mm – colore – 91′


Direction: Krzysztof Zanussi

Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi

Story: Krzysztof Zanussi

Cinematography: Edward Klosinski

Editing: Urszula Sliwinska

Music: Wojciech Kilar

Costumes: Anna B. Sheppard

Cast: Stanislaw Latallo, Malgorzata Pritulak, Monika Dzienisiewicz-Olbrychska, Edward Zebrowski, Jan Skotnicki, Wlodzimierz Wlodarski, Ryszard Wachowski, Krystyna Wojciechowska, Joanna Zolkowska, Jerzy Vaulin, Tomsz Misztela, Wlodzimierz Zawadki, Michal Tarkowski

Production: “TOR” Film Unit


Franciszek Retman studies physics in Warsaw with great interest, believing in the importance of the role of scientists for the future of the world. In the same period he begins a short but intense relationship with a girl; but then, during a mountaineering holiday on the Tantras mountains, he meets Malgosia, has a child with her and marries her. His new needs force him to interrupt his studies and to work first in some farms and then in a research centre. The tragic ending of his friendship to a young and brilliant mathematician destroys all his faith in life and leads him to isolate himself, and only his studies will help him emerge from this condition. But his renewed energy is not enough to fight against destiny.



“The illumination in the true Augustinian sense of deciphering reality is the hope that enlivens the young Franciszek, a physics student at the university of Warsaw: in the film he is described with the accuracy of a medical record, connecting documents and remarks in an even overabundant way (…). It is a film-confession, rich in autobiographic elements, and the fact that the intense main actor, Stanislaw Latallo, deceased short after the end of filming during a trip to the Himalaya casts a gloomy light on it: “I will have a feverish life and die running” says Franciszek in the last scene.” (Tullio Kezich, Panorama 1976, then in Il millefilm, Mondadori 1983)


1973 Festival Internazionale di Locarno – Competition: Pardo d’Oro, Golden Leopard, Fipresci Award, Ecumenical Jury Prize

1973 Chicago IFF – Competition

1974 Polish FF: Special Jury Prize