information about the film

Directed by: Jerzy Kawalerowicz
Country/ Year: Polska 1959
Duration: 93’

After the premiere of the film during the Venice International Film Festival in 1959 „Train” surprised the critics. Kawalerowicz’ film was a masterpiece but it was completely different from the typical movie made by, so called, artists of the Polish Film School. The idea for the screenplay came into being on the train. The story starts when two strangers, a woman and a man, meet in one sleeping compartment. This misunderstanding forces them to spend many hours together. Almost all the action takes place on the train from Warsaw to Hel. Such limitations were not accidental – they allowed the director to focus on the psychological portraits of the characters. The camera is always close to the people, it moves along the crowded carriage together with them and allows to record even the slightest gestures and emotions. In the background there are many secondary characters that create a picture of the Polish society ‘in a nutshell’. They are all lonely, lacking real feelings, real love. We witness a melodramatic impression of transience that accompanies the strangers’ journey, as they know that when they part, each of them will go their own way.

About the director:

Jerzy Kawalerowicz (1922-2007) had his debut as a director in 1951, four years later he became an artistic manager of „KADR” film studio, where he was responsible for making important films of many famous Polish directors, such as Andrzej Munk, Kazimierz Kutz or Andrzej Wajda. He himself was outside the stream of so called Polish Film School. He was a co-founder and from 1966 to 1978 the first chairman of the Polish Motion Picture Association. He was also a lecturer in Lodz Film School. His workshop was outstanding so he was able to make diverse films from a lavish historical epic „Pharaoh” to a visually amazing psychological drama „Mother Joan of the Angels”.
Most important films:

  • 1953 „Cellulose”
  • 1959 „Night Train”
  • 1960 „Mother Joan of the Angels”
  • 1965 „Pharaoh”
  • 1982 „Austeria”
  • 2001 „Quo Vadis”