By : Jerzy Kawalerowicz

With : Zbigniew Cybulski, Lucyna Winnicka, Leon Niemczyk
Pologne, 1959, PAL, 4/3 - 102 mn
zone 2, N&B, mono

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English title: NIGHT TRAIN
Original title: POCIAG

Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz

With Zbigniew Cybulski, Lucyna Winnicka, Leon Niemczyk
Poland, 1959, PAL, 4/3 - 102 mn
zone 2, B&W, mono

Original Polish version with French subtitles

Two strangers, Jerzy (Leon Niemczyk) and Marta (Lucyna Winnicka), accidentally end up holding tickets for the same sleeping chamber on an overnight train to the Baltic Sea coast. Also on board is Marta's spurned lover, who will not leave her alone. When the police enter the train in search of a murderer on the lam, rumors fly and everything seems to point toward one of the main characters as the culprit.

This is a more amorphous and ambiguous tale than other contemporary films of the Polish School, and NIGHT TRAIN seems to lack the direct references to recent history and the contemporary political situation of the Poland of the 1950s that are a hallmark of the style. However, the Hitchcockian atmosphere, the unimaginably tight shots and the overall sense of claustrophobia and dread evoke the sense of disappointment following in the wake of 1956 and the end of the 'Polish Spring'.

All of Kawalerowicz's films deal with individual fate in a society being crushed by overwhelming external forces, whether war or politics, in an attempt to examine moral choice under pressure. NIGHT TRAIN is no exception, only here he has created an allegory of misfits among a society of passengers, a society that is predictable, suspicious of individuality, and eager to punish. All of Poland escaping though the night to the end of the line. Ironically, the film may represent in its way the end of the Polish School as well.

Watch a video excerpt :

Ext Train de Nuit
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