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Poland · 1973
1h 27m
Director Krzysztof Zanussi
Starring Stanislaw Latallo, Małgorzata Pritulak, Monika Dzienisiewicz-Olbrychska, Jan Skotnicki
Genre Drama

A decade in the life of Franciszek Retman, a young physics student whose absolute faith in the primacy of rationality and science is shaken by tragedy and affairs of the heart. He experiences love, heartbreak, violence, betrayal, grief, adventure, loss, and discovery, a whirlwind of emotions amid a period of great change.

Stream Illumination

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What are critics saying?


Chicago Reader by Ben Sachs

The editing, at once jarring and exhilarating, is as revolutionary in its own way as that of Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless.


Time Out by Chris Petit

The rapid editing and self-conscious technique is sometimes irritating, but more often proves sufficiently provocative to hold attention.


Total Film by Philip Kemp

Polish director Krztsztof Zanussi's third feature and his most experimental crosses narrative cinema with filmed essay in an exploration of truth, knowledge and the elusive nature of happiness.


New York Times by Vincent Canby

Although Zanussi's techniques, which mix fiction with documentary footage, are intelligent, Illumination manages to become increasingly banal as its hero zeroes in on compromise: marriage, fatherhood, the acceptance of his own mortality.

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