ⓘ Passenger (1963 film)

Passenger (1963 film)

ⓘ Passenger (1963 film)

Passenger is a 1963 Polish feature film directed by Andrzej Munk. When Munk died in a car crash during production, the unfinished film was assembled for release by directors Witold Lesiewicz and Andrzej Brzozowski.

Passenger, using the form of a documentary, relates the experiences of one female SS officer played by Aleksandra Slaska serving at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, as well as her relationship with a Polish political inmate, Marta played by Anna Ciepielewska, whose life she manages to save on occasion.


1. Production history

Munk died in a car accident while the film was in production and the completed scenes were combined from parts of original footage and screenplay sketches by Witold Lesiewicz. The methods used are explained in a voiceover during the course of the film, so its unfinished state itself takes a documentary form. Parts of the film were shot at Auschwitz. The source was a radio drama Passenger from Cabin Number 45, written by Zofia Posmysz-Piasecka in 1959. Posmyszs play was later reworked into a novel. It was published in 1962 as Pasazerka.


2. Cast

  • Anna Golebiowska - Auschwitz Prisoner
  • Anna Ciepielewska - Marta, the Polish inmate
  • Anna Jaraczowna - Capo
  • Aleksandra Slaska - Lisa Kretschmer, former SS Aufseherin at Auschwitz
  • Jan Kreczmar - Walter Kretschmer, Lisas husband
  • Krystyna Dubielowna
  • Maria Koscialkowska - Guard, Inga Weniger
  • Barbara Horawianka - Nurse
  • Izabella Olszewska
  • Irena Malkiewicz - Oberaufseherin Madel
  • Kazimierz Rudzki - Commission Member
  • Janusz Bylczynski - Capo
  • Andrzej Krasicki - Commission Member
  • Wanda Swaryczewska
  • Leon Pietraszkiewicz - Lagerkommandant Grabner

3. Awards

The film Passenger was entered into the 1964 Cannes Film Festival where it won a FIPRESCI Award. The film was also selected as the Polish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 37th Academy Awards.

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