Who shot one of the most famous Polish movies? Andrzej Munch`s memories of
it is natural that “one of …“ assumes certain quantitatively uncertain plurality. Two, three, twenty nine … But not one, concrete movie. Respectively, at such statement of a question it is impossible to answer it practically (equally, as well as theoretically). Therefore I concretize
. Under “one of the most known“ the movie “Passenger“ which came to the Polish screens on September 20, 1963 means.
But about everything one after another. Especially, today we have an occasion to remember the director of this movie. About the person who together with Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi and Hedgehogs Kavalerovich created what today it is accepted to call “new Polish cinema“. The matter is that on October 16 it is considered birthday of Andrzej Munch.
However, even Munch - if to trust the documents which remained in archive of the Union of the Polish cinematographers - could not specify year of the birth precisely. In some questionnaires he writes that he was born in 1920, in others this event dates one year later. And here day of its birth - - does not raise on October 16 big doubts. And date - on November 16, specified in some reference books (for example, “Creators of the Polish cinema“, Leksikon publishing houses) as many researchers of works of this Polish director consider, most likely, is wrong.
Therefore, if about date of birth of Andrzej Munch - 16. 10. 1921, it is possible to speak with certain (though rather big) add probabilities, that place of its birth - Krakow, it is known precisely. Here, in Krakow, in June, 1939 Andrzej finished a gymnasium. But after war began and Poland was occupied by nazis, he, hiding the Jewish origin, was forced to move to Warsaw where he got a job the technician in one of the construction organizations.
Here it was found by the Warsaw Revolt which began on August 1, 1944. Much later his personal impressions of the participant of revolt will be demanded during creation of the tape “Eroica“ (1958), the first of two short stories of which executed according to most of critics, from obviously expressed satirical component, showed not only terrible tragic element occurring those days in the Polish capital, but also lie which insurgents had to face. For what, by the way, Munch, mercilessly criticized.
But all this will be in 14 years, and then, in October, 1944, after Revolt capitulation, Andrzej managed to get out of Warsaw. Naturally, it went to those places which well knew and where the chance to find at least temporary shelter was much higher. It managed to it to be made near Krakow, in the Grave where Munch got a job the worker on tobacco factory.
However, at well-known to you places there are also certain minuses. There not only you, but also you are known. So danger is big that someone can report where follows about your Jewish origin. Therefore in the Grave Andrzej worked not for long. As soon as there was such opportunity, he moved to Zakopane where he got a job the controller on the ropeway elevator that it was constructed shortly before war (1935 - 36) on one of the highest tops of the Western Tatra mountains - Kasprova Verkh (1987 m).
Only after liberation of Poland Munch comes back to Warsaw.
Life goes on, slowly beginning to return to peace normal, it is also necessary to solve - and what to do farther? Probably, first of all, to get an education. And Andrzej arrives on office of architecture of the Warsaw polytechnical institute. However, soon, from - for diseases, training it is necessary to interrupt. And after recovery Munch continues it already at law department of the Warsaw university. But the jurist it did not become. In 1951 Andrzej finished training and gained the diploma of the Public higher film school in Lodz (operator and director`s office).
And it began to work on the future specialty - the operator of the Polish Newsreel - still as the student, in 1950. At the Warsaw studio of documentaries Munch shot a little more than ten pictures. Among them such as “The word of railroad workers“ (1953), “Stars have to burn“ (1954), “Sunday morning“ (1955), got in 1959 the main award of the International film festival in Venice on the nomination of documentaries “Walk on the Old City“ (1958).
The documentary created that well familiar to many fans of cinema, a peculiar art language of Munch - rigid, ascetic and sarcastic which is so often opposed to romanticism of tapes of his contemporaries today - Wajda and Kavalerovich.
Already the first work of Andrzej in game cinema - srednemetrazhny, stylized under documentary, the movie “Blue Cross“ (1955) about rescue of wounded in mountains of guerrillas, was noted the attention by both the audience, and film critics. In a year of the exit to screens the picture received a bronze award of the International film festival in Venice.
But original recognition Munch was brought by his following tape - “The person on rails“ (1956) with which, actually, and “thaw“ in the Polish cinema began. It was followed by “Eroica“ (1957) and “Cross-eyed happiness“ (1959, in the Soviet hire “Six transformations of Jan Pishchik“), not only confirmed a special role of Munch in the Polish cinema, but put it in a row the leading masters if not world, then European motion picture art.
And in 1961 Andrzej began work on the movie “Passenger“ - the screen version of the novel which passed through Auschwitz and miracle of the survived Sofia Posmysh - Pyasetskoy - “The passenger from a cabin 45“ (in the USSR No. 8 is published in the Foreign Literature magazine, 1963). As well as in the novel, action of the movie had to be developed in two temporary planes - during war, in Auschwitz Concentration Camp, and already in a peace time of the end 50 - x years. But Munch managed to finish shooting only part from conceived, only “voyenno - camp“ a component of future movie.
From Auschwitz where shooting of military nature came to the end, it came back to Lodz to continue film-making process already there. Business was towards evening, on September 20, 1961. The sun approaching the horizon, setting arrested to the driver attention, blinding him. Most likely, for this reason Munch who was driving, driving at Lovich on the equivalent intersection, did not notice the truck moving on the right. Collision did not manage to be avoided.
So there was no Andrzej Munch.
Not so long ago, by the scheduled anniversary from the date of death of the director, Andrzej Wajda told: “I think, the Polish cinema would look differently today if Andrzej Munch lived longer“. The understanding of it as it seems to me, was already then, in 1961 - m …
Nobody knew that to do after death of the director. At one of his colleagues the hand begun by the Master was not raised to continue and to try to realize in full conceived by him. Only in a year Munch`s assistant, Witold Lesevich, decided to mount all that Andrzej managed to finish shooting, having united separate fragments in something complete. The text of the offscreen comment to the movie was written by Victor Voroshilsky.
And on September 20, 1963, in the second anniversary from the date of Andrzej Munch`s death, came 58 to the Polish screens - the minute version of the movie mounted by Witold Lesevich. That “Passenger“, that got a set of the international and national awards and prizes and became over time one of the most famous Polish movies.