24 July 2020 | samxxxul
A Bitter Portrait
The story follows Witold (Tadeusz Bradecki) a young man who dreams of climbing the Himalayas, although his father, a climber, died in the mountains. He has been nursing both his sick mother and a deeply rooted desire to climb the Himalayas. He inherited love for the mountains from his father, and he dreams his trip as a subconscious escape from everyday life. But his dreams begin to shatter when his mother's health gets worse, he learns of the scale of corruption at his work and the situation becomes bad enough with no indication of future improvement. From that point on, Witold's own mettle is sorely put to the test - and the adversary is not one to back down easily.
Throughout the film, Zanussi tells about Witold is surrounded by love, jealousy, envy, opportunism and survival and the price of focussing on his own moral integrity and freedom in a conformist and corrupt society. Symbolism in the movie also plays an important role. From what an untrained eye can see - the window cleaning to the dust and the water were the obvious metaphor to the dichotomy of life and death. It is one of the pinnacles of art, not just cinema. The way the story builds, from innocence to sin & then an almost surreal sequence toward the end of the movie, is intriguing to watch. It's never predictable, even if anyone watches the movie knowing how it would end, they wouldn't really know or believe how it goes in which characters digress into their feelings and avoid all kind of physical action. A reflection on art and life with one of the powerful ending. I highly recommend it to the fans of polish auteurs like Witold Leszczynski, Grzegorz Królikiewicz, Piotr Szulkin, Wojciech Marczewski, Juliusz Machulski, Wojciech Has and Stanislaw Rozewiczenc.