By : Wojciech J. Has

With : Mieczyslaw Gajda, Gustaw Holoubeck, Beata Tyszkiewicz
POLOGNE, 1959, PAL, 1.66 - 92 mn
zone 2, N&B, mono

Not available for sale now

English title : ONE ROOM TENANTS
Original Title : WSPOLNY POKOJ

Directed by : Wojciech J. Has
With : Mieczyslaw Gajda, Gustaw Holoubeck, Beata Tyszkiewicz

Poland, 1959, PAL, 1.66 - 92 mn
zone 2, black and white, mono

Original Polish version, with French subtitles

The talent of one of Poland's better directors, Wojciech Has shows through in this simple, slice-of-life, literary drama set in Warsaw in the late 1930s. The focus of attention is a rundown boarding house and its residents - students, poets, and others living in what is euphemistically termed "genteel poverty." Everyone seems to be adrift, looking for something meaningful to anchor their lives on, a sorry state that leads to a general hopelessness and chronic ennui. A young communist seems to hold out some inspiration for awhile, but then he is arrested as the growing Nazi menace looms closer on the horizon. Director Wojciech Has was particularly interested at this time in following a character through his or her life.

Polish filmmaker Wojciech Has has always stayed away from becoming too associated with any particular cinematic school of thought and has still managed to become one of his country's best directors. Born and raised in Cracow, Has completed studies at the Cracow Film Institute and at School of Fine Arts. In 1948, he began directing short films and over the next ten years became known for his short and mid-length fictional features, and documentaries. In 1958, Has made his feature-length debut with the successful and acclaimed THE NOOSE. Subsequent films have become known for their nostalgia, and they frequently chronicle the life journeys of specific characters. His first films were evocative and small in scope giving viewers a sense of intimacy. In the mid-'60s Has began expanding his films and focusing on historical epics that include THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT (1964) one of his best known films in the West. Has was appointed director of the Leon Schiller Lodz Film School in 1981.