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Memoirs of a Sinner
Osobisty pamiętnik grzesznika przez niego samego spisany
dir. Wojciech Jerzy Has / Poland 1985 / 114’
subtitles: Polish and English

Cast

Piotr Bajor, Maciej Kozłowski, Janusz Michałowski, Hanna Stankówna, Ewa Wiśniewska, Franciszek Pieczka, Anna Dymna, Katarzyna Figura, Jan Jankowski, Jan Paweł Kruk, Andrzej Krukowski, Zdzisław Kuźniar, Zofia Merle

awards

PFF Gdynia 1986 - Best Music, Best Set Design

Film description

After The Hour-Glass Sanatorium (Sanatorium pod Klepsydrą), another costume spectacle by Has. A romantic poem, a morality play and a parable on the ultimate. A story about the dual nature of man. A story concealing questions about the essence of human freedom.

The main character of Memoirs of a Sinner, the title sinner – Robert (Piotr Bajor) – is an illegitimate child, stigmatised by his parents’ guilt. Trying to find out his destiny, he takes to analysing the familial sin, accompanied by the mysterious figure of the Stranger (Maciej Kozłowski). Under his influence, the main character murders his half-brother and then his own mother. As a result, he has to run, and in the end he himself dies, too. The Stranger who haunts him turns out to be his double, but also a personification of the Devil.

Memoirs of a Sinner is a story born of satanic romanticism (the film is based on a novel by the Scottish romantic author, James Hogg). References to the Revelation of St. John can be found here, too, with images of the Last Judgement as a prophecy of the destruction of evil from the earth serving as a narration frame.

 

Marcin Maron

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