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The Tribulations of Balthazar Kober
Niezwykła podróż Baltazara Kobera
dir. Wojciech Jerzy Has / Poland 1988 / 115’
subtitles: Polish and English


Rafał Wieczyński, Michel Londsale, Emannuelle Riva, Daniel Emilfork, Gabriela Kownacka, Adrianna Biedrzyńska, Evelyne Dassas, Christine Laurent, Jerzy Bończak, Bożena Dykiel, Andrzej Szczepkowski, Frederick Leidgens (Strozzi), Zofia Merle, Henryk Machalica, Zbigniew Zamachowski


PFF Gdynia 1988 - Best Sound

Film description

In The Tribulations Has continues the subject of man’s involvement in the eternal fight of good and evil. The issues of time and memory hidden under the film costume and literature are expressed here in an entanglement of late renaissance and reformation.

The title Baltazar (Rafał Wieczyński) – an oversensitive young man,  is given away to a theological seminary in Dresden. He’s supposed to become a theologian, but in the school led by the demonic Rector (Daniel Emilfork) he can’t find the real Christian virtues. A meeting with a travelling group of actors makes Baltazar realise that he can choose his own path. Baltazar becomes a part of the persecuted milieu of printers and freethinkers. From now on, his journey is an initiation and travelling to sources of knowledge, but it is set on the borderline of reality and imagination, among the personified and masked forces of Good and Evil, Heaven and Hell, Love and Death.

What am I like? Where is God hidden? What exists in reality? What is life? What is death? – these questions are the recurring motif of his journey. In a world where the past influences the future and good is entangled with evil, every goal seems to be like a will-o’-the-wisp and the journey itself seems to matter.

Marcin Maron

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