LESSON OF THE DEAD LANGUAGE
Title: LESSON OF THE DEAD LANGUAGE
Original Title: LEKCJA MARTWEGO JĘZYKA
Film Status: INTERNATIONALLY PREMIERED
Production Year: 1979
Country of Origin: POLAND
Genre: DRAMA/WAR
Language: POLISH
Duration: 96 MIN.
Director: JANUSZ MAJEWSKI
Scriptwriter: JANUSZ MAJEWSKI
Cast: OLGIERD ŁUKASZEWICZ, EWA DAŁKOWSKA,
MAŁGORZATA PRITULAK, GUSTAW LUTKIEWICZ
Cinematographer: ZYGMUNT SAMOSIUK
Editor: ELŻBIETA KURKOWSKA
Producer: STANISŁAW RÓŻEWICZ
Production Company: SF TOR
Format: 35 mm
Screen Ratio: 1.85 : 1
SYNOPSIS:

Alfred Kiekeritz, a cavalry lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian army suffers from tuberculosis.       He commands a stage post in Turka, a small town in Polish Galicia. He is the sole guest in a small run down Jewish hotel. He is not comfortable there. He suffers from whooping cough, fever and he feels annoyed by the boredom, the primitive people and surroundings. For the young lieutenant believes he is an esthete. He is aware that his life is coming to its end and in his final days he wants to find some meaning in it. He collects works of art which he ships to his mother in Graz. A miniature copy of Diana of Ephesus, which he found in the ashes of an Ukrainian mansion is the only piece that he keeps to himself. Kiekeritz interests include symbolism and he is fascinated with death - the killing and the dying. In a conversation with lieutenant von Traut who stops by at Turka, he admits that he feels the strongest, downright divine, emotions when he aims his frontsight at another man and may or may not pull the trigger at any moment. However, so far, even though he used to be in charge of a firing squad, he has never shot a man himself. One day, during a hunt in the forest, he spots a fugitive Russian POW. Again, the matter of another man’s life or death is up to him to solve. He kills the POW. Kierkeritz dies on the day the Austro-Hungarian empire surrenders. A railway crossing gatewoman loads his body, in a plain coffin, onto a freight train and takes it to his native town.
AWARDS:

1979:Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia - Best Music Score - Andrzej Kurylewicz