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Goodbye to the Past
dir. Wojciech Jerzy Has / Poland 1961 / 72’
subtitles: Polish and English


Lidia Wysocka, Władysław Kowalski, Gustaw Holoubek, Irena Netto, Adam Pawlikowski, Danuta Krawczyńska, Zbigniew Cybulski, Władysław Dewoyno, Maria Gella, Tadeusz Hoszowsk, Bogumił Kobiela

Film description

Goodbye to the Past is an adaptation of a novella by Jadwiga Żylińska, published in Dzikie ptaki. This is an intimate story about a mature woman – Magdalena (Lidia Wysocka) – a famous actress who returns after many years of absence to the countryside town, to the house where she grew up. The direct reason for her homecoming is the death of her grandfather, the owner of the place. But for Magdalena the return is something more than just a necessity to attend a funeral. This is a sort of ordeal. Several days spent in the place so well known cause ambiguous feelings. On the one hand, Magdalena remembers the former fame of the family tradition and on the other hand – she realises that it has come to an end (the house cannot be kept for various reasons). Meeting her old acquaintances makes Magdalena think of the distance between her and her former life – not exactly a physical distance, rather a temporal one. A short affair with a young and nice boy she meets in the town – Aleksander (Władysław Kowalski) – becomes her last attempt to enliven the places that used to mean so much to her. In the end, however, this attempt will turn out to be a symbolic act of farewell to the house and youth.

Marcin Maron

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