film screening and discussion

Night Train

Odjazd Film Club meeting

  • Night Train
    • directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Poland 1959, 93’
  • Is it the least Polish of Polish films? An example of masterful psychology, sociology and realism? Or maybe a study of a group that is not a community?

    • A night train departs from Warsaw to Hel, and the confined space of the vehicle becomes a scenery of a psychological study of the seaside-bound passengers’ attitudes. Marta is looking for seclusion and trying to set herself free from Staszek, who is unable to accept their breakup. Mysterious Jerzy is trying to find a peaceful moment to forget about his professional failure. There is also a rude conductor, an old lawyer with a flirtatious wife, elderly ladies carrying a holy statue, and many other passengers. Accidental meetings force the characters who are traveling together to develop bonds and even fascination. Meanwhile, it turns out that a murderer is on the train…

  • Jerzy Kawalerowicz's film, winner of the Golden Duck, was perceived as influenced by Italian neorealism and a storytelling style characteristic of later films of the French New Wave. The subtlety of the psychological observations was surprising, the ambiguity of the moral judgments intriguing. The passengers traveling on the train, led by the legends of Polish acting: Leon Niemczyk, Lucyna Winnicka awarded for this role at the Venice Film Festival and Zbigniew Cybulski, created a specific portrait of Polish society, which thanks to its isolation from the rest of the world could be observed with scientific attention. The microscale revealed feelings and emotions that can take control over people under threat.
    • What features of Italian neorealism or the French New Wave can we find in the film?
  • Is Kawalerowicz's work more a psychological analysis of individuals or rather a sociological observation of a collective?
    • There is no politics in Night Train, which is rare in Polish cinema. But isn't the film saying that the power of the collective cannot be trusted? What is community for Kawalerowicz?
  • Would Zbigniew Cybulski have a chance in today's cinema?
    • We will try to answer these and many other questions together with our club’s expert, dr Mikołaj Mirowski (PhD). We invite you to the screening and discussion, during which you will be able to ask questions and share your ideas on how to interpret the film. What do you think Night Train is about? We want to hear your opinion!
  • Dr Mikołaj Mirowski (PhD)
    • historian, publicist, editor-in-chief of the quarterly Pleograf published by the National Film Archive Audiovisual Institute. Collaborator of the Warsaw Uprising Museum, the Polish History Museum and the Museum of Independence Traditions in Łódź. He specializes in the history of USSR and Polish-Jewish relations. Screenwriter of the TV programme Pojedynki stulecia [Duels of the Century] about the most outstanding Polish writers of the 20th century, broadcast in 2018 in TVP Kultura channel. Since 2019 he has hosted the series Teatr Historii [Theatre of History] in TVP Historia channel, presenting the most interesting plays of the TV Theatre on historical topics. Author of books, including Piłsudski (nie)znany. Historia i popkultura [Piłsudski Unknown. History and Pop Culture] (2018). Polish cinema enthusiast who greatly appreciates work by Wajda, Kawalerowicz and Kutz and loves Wojciech Jerzy Has’s cinema, above all The Saragossa Manuscript.
  • Language
    • Film in Polish
    • Lecture and debate in Polish
  • Screening as part of Film Club {ODJAZD}.
  • Tickets 5 zł
Event connected with: