Synopsis: In small-town Poland in the late 1950s, an aging woman married to a workaholic doctor meets a young man who makes her feel young again. Framed around this story, lead actress Krystyna Janda discusses the death of her husband from cancer.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Andrzej Wajda
Production: Akson Studio
  2 wins & 2 nominations.
85 min

Present a new film by

Andrzej Wajda


based on a novel by

Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz

and Sandor Marai "Unexpected Call"

and Krystyna Janda "Last Notes"

as "Mrs Marta"



Costume designer


Make-up for Mrs Marta


Art director

Cast and production manager



Director of Photography

Screenplay and director

We were supposed

to shoot this film last year.

Somewhere in Poland.

Where there's a river, a

bridge, a landing stage.

I remember coming to Andrzej

to tell him I couldn't do it.

That I had to be in Warsaw.

Actually, I thought back then

we could still do it somewhere close.

I didn't know what was ahead of us.

I remember the twitch in Andrzej's face

when I told him about Edward's chemo.

That I couldn't leave him just then,

that he was sick.

He said it's OK, that he understands,

that he'll play it by ear

they'll look for a location

somewhere close.

Come to think of it, it wouldn't

have been possible at all.

I didn't realize... intense

the following days would be.

I didn't believe things would turn bad,

then get worse.

Doctors said:

"Try to live your life as usual."

He didn't have the energy.

He couldn't walk.

I kept taking photos.

Just in case.

He let me,

he was even pleased.

I thought to myself how your

profession affects the way you think.


He knew how much it matters

to seize the expression,

the image,

the moment.

I often took photographs

of him when he was asleep.

He would always wake up after a while

and smile at me ironically.

I don't know what I felt back then.

I wasn't filled with panic.


I took him to his brain CT-scan.

And in his brain there were just those

three grains of sand, not more.

Nothing else.

And they aren't changing,

aren't getting any bigger.

Nothing is changing.

He shows no more mets.

Or maybe these aren't even mets.

We laughed a lot.

I came up with redecoration.

We painted the rooms.

I photographed him in empty rooms.

When I was driving him home,

from chemo,

he had to pee about

ten times on the way.

We laughed about it.

He would stop wherever and pee.

I took photos of him

through the car windows.

Now I look at these pictures

all the time.

They are like a treasure to me now.

I haven't cancelled his mobile

number. I pay the subscription fee and

I've kept it for myself.

Sometimes I call him.

There's this message

he recorded by himself.

Sometimes I leave a message.

I always called him.

About anything.

About any problem and he

always knew how to rescue me.

The phone's still there,


anyone can call.


- From the beginning?

- That's right.

- That's the most important part.

- The most beautiful one.

Sweet rush has two kinds of fragrance.

When rubbed between two fingers,

its green ribbon, wrinkled in places...

Wrinkled on this side. That's right. off a smell,

a faint scent of water shadowed

by birch trees, as Slowacki says.

Yet, when one crushes its blade,

when one buries the nose in its groove,

lined as if with cotton wool,

apart from the fragrance of incense,

one will detect the smell of muddy loam,

rotting fish scales,


the aroma of death.

That fragrance

at the beginning of my life

blended with an image

of a violent death.

Marta lost her two sons during the German

occupation and she is

now extremely lonely.

Her husband, terribly busy.

Aside from working at the hospital,

he is also running an enormous surgery

for the townsfolk. Marta is very

much affected by her solitude.

It must be added, however,

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Andrzej Wajda

Andrzej Witold Wajda (Polish: [ˈandʐɛj ˈvajda]; 6 March 1926 – 9 October 2016) was a Polish film and theatre director. Recipient of an Honorary Oscar, the Palme d'Or, as well as Honorary Golden Lion and Golden Bear Awards, he was a prominent member of the "Polish Film School". He was known especially for his trilogy of war films consisting of A Generation (1954), Kanał (1956) and Ashes and Diamonds (1958).He is considered one of the world's most renowned filmmakers whose works chronicled his native country's political and social evolution and dealt with the myths of Polish national identity offering insightful analyses of the universal element of the Polish experience - the struggle to maintain dignity under the most trying circumstances. Four of his films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film: The Promised Land (1975), The Maids of Wilko (1979), Man of Iron (1981) and Katyń (2007). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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