In Krzysztof Kieslowski’s poignant 1977 documentary short, NIGHT PORTER’S POINT OF VIEW, the protagonist, a typical exponent of the communist system, reveals his sometimes hilarious, sometimes shocking attitudes. Driven by paranoia, misanthropy and a profound distrust in the human race, the night porter’s favourite pastime is to control others, even when off-duty.
In 2005 Austrian filmmaker Andreas Horvath finds the now retired night porter alive and relatively well in a Warsaw suburb. He lives on a minimum pension in a characterless one-room apartment, the most memorable feature being a glaring wallpaper depicting a Hawaiian idyll. His views have not changed much in 30 years – but Poland has, and so, without the support of a corrupt regime, the former night porter’s tirades seem strangely out of place. This film is a swan song to a long gone era and one of its unflinching representatives.
touching, evocative and humanistic
– Hot Docs
– DOK Leipzig
a disturbing film that asks moral questions
– RIDM, Montreal