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Conversations with an Executioner

(...) We enter a cell at the Mokotow prison. Wajda and the scenographer Allan Starski have reconstructed this cell in an almost naturalistic manner (...) an impression, which is deepened by totally natural lighting. (...) We witness a series of scenes, illustrating prison life: Stroop with his chance cell companion, the German Schielke, the arrival of Moczarski, the first tragic confrontation, their first contact, and later regular conversations. We are struck by the laconic, even ascetic character of the means used in the play. (...) Here it is obvious that directing, as implemented by Wajda, does not consist in "arranging" several "fixed" situations, in impressive stage lighting and other technical tricks of the same kind. Instead, it consists in the most lucid exposition of the intellectual thread of the drama, regardless of its author - whether it be a creative writer or, as in the case of Rozmowy z katem, history itself.

Maciej Karpinski,
"Andrzej Wajda - teatr", Warszawa 1980, p.101.

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