fiction / 1976 / Poland / col. / 96 min.
An analysis of ethical conflicts in a closed social group on a summer retreat for linguistics students. The sarcastic and cynical Jakub, a guarantor of science at the retreat, promotes a theory of ethical naturalism, i. e. adjusting one’s morality to changing situations in the same way that animals use protective camouflage. Young and idealistic senior lecturer Jarosław, the leader of the retreat, considers everybody an equal partner and does his best to justly lead the competition of their scientific works. Jakub questions his actions and their disagreements lead to an open conflict. Once their cup of hatred overflows, the two rivals remain lonely, torn from their environment and left with a sense of mutual solidarity.
Director: Krzysztof Zanussi
Screenplay: Krzysztof Zanussi
Photography: Edward Kłosiński
Editor: Urszula Śliwińska
Music: Wojciech Kilar
Cast: Piotr Garlicki, Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, Christine Paul, Mariusz Dmochowski, Wojciech Alaborski, Mieczysław Banasik, Krystyna Bigelmajer, Jadwiga Colonna-Walewska, Alfred Freudenheim, Marian Glinka