Andrzej Zulawski (2015)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Returning to cinema after a 15-year hiatus, Andrzej Zulawski reminds viewers what a dynamic and difficult film-maker he was in this teasingly abstract swansong adapted from a 1965 cult novel by Witold Gombrowicz. The minimal plot of this "metaphysical noir thriller" concerns law student Witold (Jonathan Genet) and his stay at a remote Portuguese pension owned by the flirtatious Madame Woytis (Sabine Azéma) and her nonsense-spouting spouse (Jean-Francois Balmer). But visions of dead sparrows, suggestive ceiling stains, deformed lips and secreted bees slowly detach Witold from reality as he becomes increasingly obsessed with Madame Woytis's newlywed daughter (Victória Guerra), and her niece and maid, who are both played by Clémentine Pons. The performances are splendidly spirited, while much depends on Paula Szabo's atmospheric production design, André Szankowski's lush photography and Julia Gregory's nimble editing. But Zulawski is the undoubted auteur of this intellectually playful and slyly subversive treatise on communication, freedom, identity and chaos that pays homage to a range of literary and cinematic influences, including Wojciech Has, Jacques Rivette and Luis Buñuel.


A student and his friend experience bizarre and disturbing events during their stay at a family-run boarding house. Thriller, starring Jonathan Genet, Johan Libereau and Sabine Azema. In French.

Cast & Crew

Witold Jonathan Genet
Fuchs Johan Libéreau
Madame Woytis Sabine Azéma
Léon Jean-François Balmer
Lena Victória Guerra
Catherette / Ginette Clémentine Pons
Lucien Andy Gillet
Tólo Ricardo Pereira
Director Andrzej Zulawski
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Other Information

Language: French +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: ArrowGuidance: Swearing, nudityAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 19 Aug 2016