Based on the 1813 novel by Jan Potocki, this is a complex and exhilarating film that ranks among the most remarkable achievements of 1960s European cinema.
Beginning in the Peninsular War, the action shifts, via the pages of a gloriously illustrated tome, to a dazzling compendium of interweaving stories.
Zbigniew Cybulski’s Walloon guardsman meets with two Muslim princesses, a hermit, a possessed lunatic, a cabalist, a rationalist philosopher, a gypsy and an Inquisitor.
Played to the haunting strains of Krzysztof Penderecki’s score, this is a highly stylised, darkly surreal exploration of such themes as the capriciousness of nature, authority and, above all, love.
Capt Alfons van Worden
van Worden’s father
van Worden’s mother