Liza and Walter are crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner. He doesn’t know that she was with the SS and served as a guard at Auschwitz. But Marta, who is also on this ship, knows – because she was a prisoner in Auschwitz, and was maltreated by Liza…

Andrzej Munk died during the shooting of Passenger, and Witold Lesiewicz finished the film in an absolutely staggering way: by narrating the cruise parts almost exclusively through still pictures – and connecting these with Munk’s demise. In fact, at the beginning, we see mainly production shots, with Munk on the ocean liner, blurring the boundaries between documentary essay and fiction – befitting for a film about memories, true and false. Could this arguably most devastating film ever to tackle the horrors of the concentration camps be as epochal and axiomatic if it didn’t feel so fragmentary, as unfinished as the history it brings alive?

Original title
Pasażerka
Filmmaker
Andrzej Munk, Witold Lesiewicz
Country
Poland
Year
1963
Medium
35mm
Length
62’
Language
Polish
Production Company
Zespol Filmowy Kamera
Sales
Studio Filmowe KADR
Writer
Andrzej Munk, Zofia Posmysz-Piasecka
Cinematography
Krzysztof Winiewicz
Editor
Zofia Dwornik
Production Design
Tadeusz Wybult
Sound Design
Jerzy Szawlowski
Music
Tadeusz Baird
Cast
Aleksandra Śląska, Anna Ciepielewska, Jan Kreczmar, Marek Walczewski, Irena Malkiewicz, Barbara Horawianka, Maria Koscialkowska