7.7/10
2,872
20 user 29 critic

The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973)

Sanatorium pod Klepsydra (original title)
Józef visits his dying father at a remote mental institution, where time itself doesn't seem to exist, and the line between dreams and memories becomes indistinguishable.

Director:

Wojciech Has (as Wojciech J. Has)

Writers:

Wojciech Has (as Wojciech J. Has), Bruno Schulz (story "Santorium pod Klepsydra")
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jan Nowicki ... Józef
Tadeusz Kondrat Tadeusz Kondrat ... Jakub - Józef's father
Irena Orska ... Józef's mother
Halina Kowalska ... Adela
Gustaw Holoubek ... Dr. Gotard
Mieczyslaw Voit ... Blind Conductor
Bozena Adamek ... Bianka
Ludwik Benoit ... Szloma
Henryk Boukolowski ... Fireman
Seweryn Dalecki Seweryn Dalecki ... Teodor
Julian Jabczynski Julian Jabczynski ... Dignitary
Jerzy Przybylski ... Mr. de Voss
Wiktor Sadecki Wiktor Sadecki ... Dignitary
Janina Sokolowska Janina Sokolowska ... Nurse
Wojciech Standello Wojciech Standello ... Jew Interlocutor in Restaurant
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Storyline

The film depicts its protagonist, Joseph (Jan Nowicki), traveling through a dream-like world, taking a dilapidated train to visit his dying father in a sanatorium. When he arrives at the hospital, he finds the entire facility is going to ruin and no one seems to be in charge, or even caring for the patients. Time appears to behave in unpredictable ways, reanimating the past in an elaborate artificial caprice. Written by Mr Bongo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Mr Bongo Films

Country:

Poland

Language:

Polish | Yiddish | Hebrew | Latin

Release Date:

12 December 1973 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hourglass Sanatorium See more »

Filming Locations:

Drohiczyn, Podlaskie, Poland See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wojciech Has worked on this project for five years. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best Holocaust Fiction
23 October 2005 | by mgubrudSee all my reviews

It is amazing that so many people can see this film without realizing that its subtext and central subject is the Shoah (Holocaust); its unspeakable and incomprehensible enormity in the mind, especially in Communist Poland where the memory of that history was somewhat suppressed. This is really the best fictional treatment of the Shoah on film, because of its indirection in dealing with this terrible subject. It is simultaneously an adaptation of a literary work by a victim of the Nazis, Bruno Shulz, who explored the world and imagery of the unconscious, fantastic and dreams like no other. It is probably the best evocation of this world ever committed to film. The film will be tedious to some, but those willing to immerse themselves in it will emerge, like the protagonist, forever changed by the experience. By the way, this film is NOT set in prewar Poland, but in some indeterminate time after the war. Where Shulz was the prewar victim haunted by memories of his father and childhood, the protagonist in this film is the postwar survivor haunted by the fate of his own father's generation - and world.


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