The Illumination


Director Krzysztof Zanussi attending, August 14!

In this classic bildungsroman, a young man from a provincial town comes to the capital to study physics, hoping that science can answer his questions. He explores the boundaries of knowledge while tackling universal life experiences - love, death, friendship, fatherhood, and work. The Illumination is a philosophical essay written with a camera, comprising animation, experimental techniques and documentary footage. Director Krzysztof Zanussi's protagonist struggles against the futility of a life constantly overshadowed by death. However, in the face of defeat, he rejects nihilism and resignation to his fate in favor of a simplistic view of life: fragile but treasured. With the success of this masterpiece, Mr. Zanussi's career blossomed into international renown, proving that philosophy could be translated into successful cinema.


1973 Chicago IFF – Gold Hugo – nomination. 1973 Locarno IFF – FIPRESCI Prize – winner, Golden Leopard – winner, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury – winner. 1974 Polish Film Festival – Special Jury Prize – winner.

Cast & Crew

Directed and written by Krzysztof Zanussi. Cinematography by Edward Kłosiński. Production design by Stefan Maciąg. Music by Wojciech Kilar. Film editing by Urszula Śliwińska. Production management: Jerzy Buchwald. © Studio Filmowe Tor. Cast: Stanisław Latałło (Franciszek Retman), Małgorzata Pritulak (Małgorzata), Monika Dzienisiewicz-Olbrychska (Agnieszka), Edward Żebrowski (Physician), Jan Skotnicki (Patient), Jadwiga Colonna-Walewska (Franciszek’s Mother), Włodzimierz Zonn (University dean), Włodzimierz Zawadzki (Assistant).