A young man named Jozef travels to a remote institution to visit his dying father. Discovering the facility in ruin he meets a doctor who makes a strange pronouncement, that within the sanatorium walls time does not behave quite as it normally should and therefore Jozef’s father resides in a place somewhere between life and death.
Jozef delves deeper into the inner world of the sanatorium, reliving fragments and fictions from his childhood and Jewish culture through a phantasmagoria of shifting realities.
Adapting a collection of short stories by author Bruno Schultz, absurdist vignettes loaded with symbolism drawn from Jewish life in Poland between the wars, director Wojciech Has crafts an immersive and beautifully surreal world that avoids traditional narrative in favour of a free-flowing melange of scenes that blurs the lines between fantasy, reality, memory and dreams.
Despite being banned from entry by Polish authorities, The Hourglass Sanatorium was awarded the Jury Prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival (after Has managed to smuggle prints of the film abroad to be screened) and it has since become regarded as a landmark of Polish cinema.
Polish language with English subtitles.
Please note that there will be no trailers before the screening but a brief introduction will take place before the film begins.
So excited to be screening this as part of Scalarama 2019
Hope to see you there!