23 user 27 critic

Camera Buff (1979)

Amator (original title)
Filip buys an eight-millimetre movie camera when his first child is born. Because it's the first camera in town, he's named official photographer by the local Party boss. His horizons widen... See full summary »


Krzysztof Kieslowski (scenario), Krzysztof Kieslowski (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
6 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerzy Stuhr ... Filip Mosz
Malgorzata Zabkowska Malgorzata Zabkowska ... Irka Mosz
Ewa Pokas Ewa Pokas ... Anna Wlodarczyk
Stefan Czyzewski Stefan Czyzewski ... Director
Jerzy Nowak ... Stanislaw Osuch
Tadeusz Bradecki ... Witek Jachowicz
Marek Litewka Marek Litewka ... Piotrek Krawczyk
Boguslaw Sobczuk ... Kedzierski
Krzysztof Zanussi ... Self
Andrzej Jurga Andrzej Jurga ... Self
Alicja Bienicewicz Alicja Bienicewicz ... Jaska
Tadeusz Rzepka Tadeusz Rzepka ... Wawrzyniec
Aleksandra Kisielewska Aleksandra Kisielewska ... Hania, secretary
Wlodzimierz Maciudzinski Wlodzimierz Maciudzinski ... Stelmaszczyk
Roman Stankiewicz Roman Stankiewicz ... Czeslaw
Learn more

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Filip buys an eight-millimetre movie camera when his first child is born. Because it's the first camera in town, he's named official photographer by the local Party boss. His horizons widen when he is sent to regional film festivals with his first works but his focus on movie-making also leads to domestic strife and philosophical dilemmas. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The film's opening scene and Irka's nightmare about a hawk killing a chicken are reminiscent of Ken Loach's Kes (1969) -- a film about a boy who takes to training a wild kestrel in order to escape his troubled life. Later, Filip can be seen reading a filmmaking text and turning to a section about Ken Loach and Kes (1969). This reference is twofold. First, Filip is clearly inspired by filmmakers like Loach in making social realist films about working-class people. Second, Irka is tormented by images mirroring Kes (1969) which represent her husband's budding obsession with this type of filmmaking. See more »


Piotrek Krawczyk: What you do is beautiful, boys: a person may be dead but she is still there, in your film.
See more »


Referenced in Adventures in Moviegoing: Josh and Bennie Safdie (2020) See more »


Walc e-moll
by Frédéric Chopin
Performed by Krystian Zimmermann
See more »

User Reviews

The Turning Point Of A Simple Man
23 April 2010 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

There are times in our lives that a minor event becomes a biggest event, something that change your life for good or bad, but it's something that makes what you are and defines your whole journey through life. To me this thing was movies. Since I was kid I watched movies but I didn't have a greater perception of what movies were and their meaning, all I know is that I liked for some reason. When I grow older I noticed that is something very important to me and it was something that I couldn't live without, to remember good cinematic moments and to see a different look through our reality, to have different and pleasant experiences.

Since I'm talking about movies and turning points in someone's life, Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Amator" is a brilliant and deep look into the life of a man who accidentally became a filmmaker. Here, Filip Mosz (Jerzy Stuhr) is a happy man that awaits the birth of his first child and he buys a camera to film the event. After that he realizes that he created a magical world through what he filmed, he notices that everything is different, beautiful behind the lens of a camera and starts to make simple documentaries, filming his friends, his neighborhood and everything he finds interesting to film.

But one day someone told to his boss that he has a camera and he needs the camera because the Comunist Party wants to film a celebration of a great event in the town. Since Filip is a State civil servant (working in a factory) he's almost forced to film the event (he's the only person in the whole city to have a 8mm camera). What is interesting here is that Filip enjoyed filming the celebration, doing a great job that caught the attention of his bosses and his friends and that led his film to be registered into a film festival for amateur filmmakers. Filip sudden success makes him moving forward in the making of all sorts of documentaries, one of this documentaries features an midget hard working colleague of Filip in the leading role, something that his bosses doesn't want to be filmed, after all Filip's films are sponsored by the Comunist Party and they don't want to get involved with supposed controversial subjects. Here starts Filip's problems, because now he has a conscience about the power of movies, the influence that his documentaries has in people's lives, in the government, and what it's images may cause to his family and his friends. Is it possible that people can respect and accept what you do even if what you do it's something that pushes away from all the people you love and care? Is Filip a responsible filmmaker or he's just pretending to be someone he's not to get attention? What is best: to be truthful to yourself and lie to others to have good relations or be truthful to everyone and be hated for it? Many questions to be answered by the viewers in this exciting and wonderful film.

Kieslowski knows exactly what's he doing here. This story hands perfectly well to him not only because he's a great artist that deal with many obstacles to make his movies. No, he started filming documentaries,pretty much in what Filip does, filming for the Comunist Party in Poland. In one of the documentaries he accidentally filmed an killing, then his bosses were told and started to control all of his films since then. His first films were censored during the 1970's and beginning of 1980's so in "Amator" we know what he's saying about the control of what filmmakers can do or not. If you are familiar with his first films you can notice that in almost all of it he criticizes the government in one way or another, his attacks are very sharp, very subtle in films like "Bez Konca". With the Trilogy of Colors, "A Short Film About Love" and the "Dekalog" you'll see that he's a more artistic creator. But as in all of his films he's got the partnership of the writer Krzysztof Piesiwicz, a great collaborator.

The acting here is great: Jerzy Sthur in the leading role is awesome. His quietness and strange manners put him in the same type of a Carlitos the Chaplin character, sometimes he's funny, other times he's very impulsive. Malgorzata Zabkowska plays Filip's conflicted wife, a woman that wants the attention of his husband that seems to care more about his movies than to health of his child. In the role of Witek, Filip's best friend and supporter, Tadeusz Bradecki gives a very good performance, showing the limits of what a man can do to a friend and what he won't do. When the movie becomes too slow and sometimes depressive Witek appears to show a little bit of humor.

Another great and reflective work from the fantastic director Kryzsztof Kieslowski, a must see film for those who admires his films, and for those who love movies as I do. 10/10

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Release Date:

14 February 1980 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Camera Buff See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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