Synopsis: The last film of Andrzej Munk, who died in a crash during the filming. A German woman on a ship coming back to Europe notices a face of another woman which brings recollections from the past. She tells her husband that she has been an overseer in Auschwitz during the war, but she has actually saved a woman's life. Her vision is shown and then the actual events.
Genre: Drama, History, War
Production: Altura Films Inc.
  2 wins & 1 nomination.
62 min




Director of Photography


Andrzej Munk was unable

to complete his film

He died in a car accident

on 20th September, 1961

We have no intention of adding

what he had no time to say himself

We are not searching for solutions

which might not have been his...

... nor seeking to conclude the plots

which his death left unresolved

We merely wish to present

what was filmed...

... with all the gaps

and reticence...

... in an attempt to grasp whatever

is alive and significant

Andrzej Munk was our contemporary

We shared his hopes and fears,

and while not anticipating the answers...

... we may perhaps manage to present

questions that he wished to pose

The story begins today...

... in a place where yesterday and

tomorrow scarcely exist, only the present

This luxury liner

is an island in time...

... and each of her passengers

is an island, too

Worries and ambitions fade away

during a voyage

A passenger isn't part of a society...

... a nation or a group -

free, without a biography

The world turns a smiling face

to passengers...

... friendly, ready to serve...

... not too curious about where they

come from, or why they are travelling

But we will not observe this idyll

with such cheerful indifference

We shall give our attention

to this passenger

She is a German...

... who hasn't seen her country,

or Europe at all, for years

Now she is returning with her husband...

... whom she married in a foreign,

hospitable continent

England... the first port of call

in Europe

What has Liza seen?

Her husband does not understand...

... why this encounter has upset her

Don't call me "poor little thing"

You know nothing about it

My time in the camp...

... was not what you think,

my dear Walter

I wasn't a prisoner,

I was an overseer

Don't look at me like that.

I didn't hurt anyone

And if Marta is alive...

... it's only because of me

I haven't told you much about

my past. You were an emigrant

You'll never understand how we had

to live and obey our leaders

Perhaps it's best for us both...

... if you hear it at last

I was sent to Auschwitz

in the summer of 1943

I took charge of a command working

in a storehouse outside the camp

I had nothing to do with the

prisoners, only their things

Everything belonged to the Reich...

... and I was responsible for seeing

that nothing was destroyed or stolen

There was a war on

and we all lived as soldiers

Some were drunk with power,

but I just did my duty

I always tried to help those women

whenever I could

I had to select an assistant

from a new transport

Work in my command

was easier than elsewhere...

... and the treatment was more humane

I saw something vulnerable

and childlike in Marta

I was sorry for her

She became my clerk

It was a pleasure...

... to watch her change back

to a normal girl, a girl from freedom

I hoped that one day

she would be really free...

... and I did all I could

to help her survive

Then I discovered that her fiance

Tadeusz, was in the camp...

... and as we needed help with

book-keeping, I brought them together

Thanks to me they met again

One day she fell ill

and was taken to hospital

Conditions were not good there,

we lacked medicines

We couldn't cope

Anyway, our soldiers at the front

were worse off

I decided to have Marta back

in the block

I could care for her better there...

... make sure the doctor visited her

I got sulphonamide and vitamins

from the SS dispensary

I saved her life

I didn't ask for thanks,

but at least I deserved her trust

She didn't want to show it

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Andrzej Munk

Andrzej Munk (16 October 1921 – 20 September 1961) was a Polish film director, screen writer and documentalist. He was one of the most influential artists of the post-Stalinist period in the People's Republic of Poland. His feature films Man on the Tracks (Człowiek na torze, 1956), Eroica (Heroism, 1958), Bad Luck (Zezowate szczęście, 1960), and Passenger (Pasażerka 1963), are considered classics of the Polish Film School developed in mid-1950s. He died as a result of a car crash in Kompina in a head-on collision with a truck. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"Passenger" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 14 Jul 2020. <>.

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