A middle-aged actress comes back to her hometown for her grandfather's funeral after many years of absence. Nothing is the same as it used to be - the places and the people are not familiar to her anymore.
I must confess to being surprised that this splendid little film has until now only received one review, albeit one that is both excellent and appreciative.
Wojciech Has, after directing documentaries, found success with his first feature 'The Noose' in 1958 and went from strength to strength. It is generally agreed that his best film is 'The Saragossa Manuscript', especially since its 'rediscovery' by Messrs. Scorsese and Coppola but despite its epic, picaresque and erotic nature I personally find its three hour running time rather tiresome.
There is no time to become bored with the much shorter 'Rozstanie' as it is a tightly knit, well-constructed 'chamber piece' which seems to fly by despite its measured pace.
Magdalena, returning to the family home for the burial of her grandfather, is played superlatively by Lidia Wysocka, an accomplished and highly respected actress and by all accounts a courageous woman. Her best scenes are those with the Novek of Wladyslaw Kowalski which reminded me very much of those between the woman 'entre deux ages' and the young man in 'Le Ble en Herbe'/'Game of Love' of 1954.
There is a varied assortment of colourful characters here and the Count chasing the cook's flirtatious niece would not be out of place in a film of Ingmar Bergman.
It is a tender, nostalgic and beautifully observed little gem with a great cast, a delightful score by Likjan Kaszycki and oodles of atmosphere courtesy of the cinematograthy of Stefan Matyjaszierwicz.
To Magdalena the places and people she knew seem unfamiliar to her which serves as a poignant reminder that the one 'constant' in Life is 'change'.