A look at the Central Station in Warsaw, the country's most famous building of the 1970s. There's the inevitable clash between delayed trains and chaos at the station, and the propaganda slogans glorifying the site.


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Documentary | Short





Release Date:

17 March 2010 (Greece)  »

Also Known As:

Railway Station  »

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This short film is featured on the 2-Disc Criterion Collection DVD for The Double Life of Veronique (1991). See more »

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Looking Through A Railway Station
20 December 2010 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

"Railway Station" is a short documentary directed by the great Krzysztof Kieslowski in which he captures in less than fifteen minutes of projection a bureaucratic day in the life of many people waiting for a train in a crowded and confusing railway station in Poland.

Nothing works at this station, people get tired and frustrated because the train takes too long to appear, and they are warned all the time about the delay of the so-called fast train; there's countless troubles in the ticket counter, the attendants are bureaucratic and do a terrible job not helping people. And at last but not least there's the eye who sees everything at the station: a camera. Not Kieslowski's camera, but one surveillance camera that every time it appears on the screen makes the music grow very darker, tense, meaning that something doesn't feel quite right. Perhaps this is the director's vision about the paranoid Communism regime present in Poland at the time, a regime that kept everything under control, suspicious of everything and everyone.

Looking to the documentary as a whole it's a good piece of filmmaking that allows us to see how Poland was during the beginning of the 1980's. It doesn't include any political statements but I know that there's something related to it, you can feel that just by watching. During moments I thought that some of the people that appeared in this film were actors, for some odd reason, perhaps the way they talked, or some of the situations were so unbelievable that it looked something that was taken out of some movie e.g. the scenes at the counter but it was the country's situation which was bad during those days and gives that impression of being "staged".

My favorite technical aspect of "Railway Station" was the excellent black and white cinematography photographed by Witold Stok. That was something very beautiful and magnificent to look at, with a skillful use on many night scenes, giving a nice emphasis on the lights.

It might not be a brilliant documentary but it gets pretty close. 7/10

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