Films & Schedules

  • Four Nights With Anna
    Cztery noce z Anna

  • Jerzy Skolimowski

87 minutes

Production Company:
Alfama Films/Skopia Film
Executive Producer:
Eva Piaskowska, Philippe Rey
Paulo Branco, Jerzy Skolimowski
Jerzy Skolimowski, Ewa Piaskowska
Production Designer:
Marek Zawierucha
Adam Sikora
Cezary Grzesiuk
Frédéric de Ravignan
Michal Lorenc
Principal Cast: Kinga Preis, Artur Steranko

Canadian Distributor:
Axia Films International Sales Agent: Elle Driver

TIFF Tags: Romance 

Tuesday September 0908:45PM VARSITY 1 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Wednesday September 1003:15PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 4 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

After a self-imposed sabbatical, this former enfant terrible of Polish cinema has returned in style, rediscovering both his country and his love of film in the process.

Jerzy Skolimowski left Poland for the West in the early seventies and his career has had its ups and downs since. He moved from Belgium to France, then to England and finally Los Angeles, and while he made some superb films along the way – Deep End, The Shout, Moonlighting – he has also had his share of disappointments. Shot with restraint and visual sophistication, Four Nights with Anna is a welcome return to form for a talented cinematic mind.

Acting in David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises reminded Skolimowski that personal filmmaking was still possible. Renewed, he returned to Poland to shoot this dark, spare and beautifully acted piece. The title evokes Robert Bresson's Four Nights of a Dreamer, and though some have likened the film to a story from Krzysztof Kieslowski's Decalogue, Four Nights with Anna clearly bears Skolimowski's stamp.

From Walkover to Deep End, the filmmaker has been obsessed with romantic loners. Four Nights with Anna centres upon the nondescript middle-aged Leon (Artur Steranko), who works in the hospital crematorium of a small village. Life has not been easy. Leon witnessed – and perhaps committed – the brutal rape of Anna, who now works as a nurse at the same hospital. From the window of his grimy living quarters, Leon peers into Anna's home – until she becomes an obsession. He becomes bolder in his spying until one day he enters her apartment, leaving behind innocuous traces of his visit but remaining unseen and unheard.

A large part of this film's power resides in Steranko's precisely delineated portrayal of the love-struck Leon. Credit must also go to Michal Lorenc's subtly shaded score and Skolimowski's ability to imbue the sparest moments with dramatic inventiveness.

Piers Handling

Jerzy Skolimowski was born in Lódz, Poland. He studied anthropology, literature and history at Warsaw University before graduating from Lódz Film School. Since then he has worked as a director, playwright, scriptwriter and actor. He made his feature directing debut with Identification Marks: None(64) and went on to direct Walkover(65), Barrier (66), Le Départ (67), Hands Up! (67), Deep End (70), The Adventures of Gerard (70), King, Queen, Knave (72), The Shout (78), Moonlighting (82), Success Is the Best Revenge (84), The Lightship (85), Torrents of Spring (89), Ferdydurke (91) and Four Nights with Anna (08).

Cadillac People's Choice Award