The first screenplay, based on one of his own stories, by noted writer Alexander Scibor-Rylski, SHADOW is a Rashomon-like ...展开investigation into the life of a man found dead after having been hurled from a train. As security agents, policemen and a medical examiner begin to piece together his identity, three accounts emerge: one set during the war, one in the immediate aftermath, and one in then contemporary Poland. In each, the murdered victim seems to have been a mysterious, ambiguous presence, of shifting loyalties and suspicious connections, who invariably set himself against the ruling powers of the time. Critics at the time attacked the film for its depiction of a world rife with secret agents and hidden enemies - a favorite Stalinist theme - yet the film seems rather to insist on how heroism or villany are so often matters of point of view and timing.
Polish filmmaker Jerzy Kawalerowicz was once considered one of his country's most talented post-WW II directors, noted for his powerful, detail-oriented imagery. Kawalerowicz was versatile and his subjects ranged from historical dramas to intense psychological studies. He made his directorial debut in 1951 after working as an assistant director. In 1955 Kawalerowicz was appointed head of the prestigious KADR production unit. He held the position again in 1972. In 1983, Kawalerowicz alienated himself from many of his peers by signing communist government-generated reports condemning all filmmakers aligned with the Solidarity Movement and promoting the destruction of production units run by long time associates Wajda and Zanussi.
Born in Gwozdziec, Poland (now Gvozdets, Ukraine), Jerzy Kawalerowicz was noted for his powerful, detail-oriented imagery and the depth of ideas in his films. After working as an assistant director, he made his directorial debut with the 1951 film The Village Mill (Gromada). He was a leading figure in the Polish Film School, and his films Shadow (Cien, 1956) and Night Train (Pociag, 1959) constitute some of that movement's best work.
Other noted works by Kawalerowicz include Mother Joan of the Angels (Matka Joanna od aniolów, 1961) and a 1966 adaptation of Boleslaw Prus' historical novel, Pharaoh, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.