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Krzysztof Zanussi by Lukasz Gawronski

KRZYSZTOF ZANUSSI (b. 1939) is a Polish director, screenwriter, producer and author. He was born in Warsaw and studied philosophy at Jagiellonian University in Krakow and physics at Warsaw University, before graduating from the Lodz Film School in 1966.

Zanussi is considered one of Europe's most renowned film auteurs, whose disciplined contemporary dramas focus on the moral choices and metaphysical questions in everyday life. His works are often described as intellectual and deeply philosophical.

My cinema above all comes from literature, and, in this sense, it becomes a kind of a human language. The idea of the visual component in film as dominant has always evoked my skepticism. - Film magazine, 1992

His graduation film was The Death of a Provincial Man (1958), after which he went on to direct two television dramas and his feature debut The Structure of Crystal (1969), for which he received many international awards at festivals including the Panama International Film Festival and Mar Del Plata. In the 1970s, Zanussi wrote and directed some of his finest cinematic masterpieces: Family Life (1971), Behind the Wall (1971), Illumination (1973), Camouflage (1976), and Spiral (1978); having defined "his" protagonist: a man faced with the temptation to reject his own values, compromising individual freedom for the sake of day-to-day existence.

In the 1980s, Zanussi worked mostly internationally having established himself as one of the most interesting European filmmakers with A Year of the Quiet Sun (1984). Over the years, Zanussi has worked consistently with the same group of actors, mainly Maja Komorowska (a student of Jerzy Grotowski) and Zbigniew Zapasiewicz.

Beyond his artistic work, Zanussi has been the director of TOR Film Studio in Warsaw, a member of the European Film Academy, and a recipient of numerous Honoris Causa distinctions. Among his many awards of merit are the "David di Donatello" Prize, the Cavalier's Cross of Polonia Restituta Order, and Cavalier de L'Ordre ete Sciences et Lettres.

He has taught at the film schools in Lodz and Katowice (Poland) and the National Film Schools in Great Britain and Denmark. He also directs theater - from Krakow and Bonn to Mediolan, Palermo and Rome.


Golden Leopard for Illumination - Locarno 1974

Best Director for The Constant Factor - Cannes 1980

The Special Jury Award for Imperative - Venice 1982

The Golden Lion Award for A Year of the Quiet Sun - Venice 1984

Grand Prix for The Silent Touch - Tokyo 1992

The Special Jury Award At Full Gallop - Tokyo 1996

St. George Statuette for Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease - Moscow 2000



1969 - STRUKTURA KRYSZTALU (The Structure of Crystal)

1970 - ZYCIE RODZINNE (Family Life)

1971 - ZA SCIANA (Behind the Wall)

1972 - HIPOTEZA (Hypothesis)

1972 - ILUMINACJA (Illumination)

1974 - BILANS KWARTALNY (The Quarterly Statement)

1976 - BARWY OCHRONNE (Camouflage)

1978 - SPIRALA (The Spiral)

1980 - CONSTANS (The Constant Factor)

1980 - KONTRAKT (The Contract)

1982 - IMPERATIV (The Imperative)

1984 - ROK SPOKOJNEGO SLONCA (A Year of the Quiet Sun)

1985 - PARADIGMA (The Paradigm)


1992 - DOTKNIECIE REKI (The Silent Touch)

1995 - CWAL (At Full Gallop)

1996-2000 - OPOWIESCI WEEKENDOWE (Weekend Stories)

1997 - BRAT NASZEGO BOGA (Our God's Brother)


(Life As a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease)

2002 - SUPLEMENT (The Supplement)


2007 - IL SOLE NERO (Black Sun)

2008 - SERCE NA DLONI (And a Warm Heart)

2009 - REWIZYTA (Revisited)
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