No End


1h 44m 1985
No End

Brief Synopsis

A recent widow copes with her grief in Soviet-controlled Poland.

Film Details

Also Known As
Bez Konca
Genre
Drama
Political
Foreign
Release Date
1985
Location
Poland

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 44m

Synopsis

Antek is a young lawyer who dies four days before the beginning of the film, but continues to haunt his beautiful young widow.

Film Details

Also Known As
Bez Konca
Genre
Drama
Political
Foreign
Release Date
1985
Location
Poland

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 44m

Articles

No End


This 1985 drama by Krzysztof Kieslowski arrived near the beginning of what is considered to be his mature career, following his breakthrough 1979 feature Camera Buff and establishing many of the national and personal themes that would come to define his future masterworks including the Three Colors (1993-1994) trilogy and The Double Life of Veronique (1991). Here he takes one of his most explicitly political looks at his native country of Poland where Solidarity crackdowns mirror the grief of a widow who still sees to liberate herself from visions of her dead husband.

When martial law was instituted in Poland at the end of 1981, the choice of subject matter for the director seemed clear; however, his approach makes it universal far beyond local concerns, with one protagonist dead at the start of the film but still playing a crucial role throughout. Played by Jerzy Radziwilowicz, a familiar face from Andrzej Wajda's Man of Marble (1977) and Man of Iron (1981), the character of attorney Antek Zyro has been killed in a car accident but operates as a kind of siren song to his translator wife, Ulla (Grazyna Szapolowska, later seen in Kieslowski's 1988 feature A Short Film About Love), who tries to fill the professional void left by her husband in court.

The production of No End would prove to be especially fortuitous for Kieslowski as he was scouting local courtrooms for inspiration. In the process he made the acquaintance of a criminal defense lawyer, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, who had been practicing for eight years. The two proved to be spiritual kinsmen, and Piesiewicz wound up co-writing this film and all of Kieslowski's subsequent features as well as the watershed TV miniseries, The Decalogue.

Critics at the time were baffled by this film after the comparatively cheerful Camera Buff, with Vincent Canby in particular chiding it as "a dour, deadly serious contemplation of the effects of martial law... it's also the sort of movie that can only be fully understood by someone with an intimate knowledge of the various twists and turns in recent Polish political history." The film is better understood now for its parallels to the Three Colors trilogy, particularly with the character of the elderly attorney Labrador (Aleksander Bardini), who foreshadows Jean-Louis Trintignant in Red. Of course, the theme of a widow coping with the loss of her husband would also be explored in Blue, with Juliette Binoche essentially expanding on the Ulla character here.

The press notes for the release of this film called out a technique that would become the director's forte in the future, as "the plot's progression along these two parallel lines generates a powerful metaphor for the walking corpse of liberalism in contemporary Poland." The parallel line approach would soon become an increasingly crucial motif in his work, developed to a remarkable degree by the time he released his final film a mere nine years later. His sudden death in 1996 was a shock to the international film community, but what he accomplished with this film and those before and after it remains an achievement unlike any other.

By Nathaniel Thompson
No End

No End

This 1985 drama by Krzysztof Kieslowski arrived near the beginning of what is considered to be his mature career, following his breakthrough 1979 feature Camera Buff and establishing many of the national and personal themes that would come to define his future masterworks including the Three Colors (1993-1994) trilogy and The Double Life of Veronique (1991). Here he takes one of his most explicitly political looks at his native country of Poland where Solidarity crackdowns mirror the grief of a widow who still sees to liberate herself from visions of her dead husband. When martial law was instituted in Poland at the end of 1981, the choice of subject matter for the director seemed clear; however, his approach makes it universal far beyond local concerns, with one protagonist dead at the start of the film but still playing a crucial role throughout. Played by Jerzy Radziwilowicz, a familiar face from Andrzej Wajda's Man of Marble (1977) and Man of Iron (1981), the character of attorney Antek Zyro has been killed in a car accident but operates as a kind of siren song to his translator wife, Ulla (Grazyna Szapolowska, later seen in Kieslowski's 1988 feature A Short Film About Love), who tries to fill the professional void left by her husband in court. The production of No End would prove to be especially fortuitous for Kieslowski as he was scouting local courtrooms for inspiration. In the process he made the acquaintance of a criminal defense lawyer, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, who had been practicing for eight years. The two proved to be spiritual kinsmen, and Piesiewicz wound up co-writing this film and all of Kieslowski's subsequent features as well as the watershed TV miniseries, The Decalogue. Critics at the time were baffled by this film after the comparatively cheerful Camera Buff, with Vincent Canby in particular chiding it as "a dour, deadly serious contemplation of the effects of martial law... it's also the sort of movie that can only be fully understood by someone with an intimate knowledge of the various twists and turns in recent Polish political history." The film is better understood now for its parallels to the Three Colors trilogy, particularly with the character of the elderly attorney Labrador (Aleksander Bardini), who foreshadows Jean-Louis Trintignant in Red. Of course, the theme of a widow coping with the loss of her husband would also be explored in Blue, with Juliette Binoche essentially expanding on the Ulla character here. The press notes for the release of this film called out a technique that would become the director's forte in the future, as "the plot's progression along these two parallel lines generates a powerful metaphor for the walking corpse of liberalism in contemporary Poland." The parallel line approach would soon become an increasingly crucial motif in his work, developed to a remarkable degree by the time he released his final film a mere nine years later. His sudden death in 1996 was a shock to the international film community, but what he accomplished with this film and those before and after it remains an achievement unlike any other. By Nathaniel Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1986

Released in United States February 1986

Released in United States on Video March 23, 1994

Released in United States September 1989

Released in United States September 1996

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1984

Shown at Berlin Film Festival February 1986.

Shown at New York Film Festival September 30 & October 3, 1986.

Shown at Rotterdam International Film Festival February 1986.

Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals September 8 & 13, 1989.

Released in United States 1986 (Shown at New York Film Festival September 30 & October 3, 1986.)

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1984

Released in United States February 1986 (Shown at Berlin Film Festival February 1986.)

Released in United States September 1996 (Shown in New York City (Anthology Film Archives) as part of program "Best of the Indies" September 5-15, 1996.)

Released in United States February 1986 (Shown at Rotterdam International Film Festival February 1986.)

Released in United States September 1989 (Shown at Toronto Festival of Festivals September 8 & 13, 1989.)

Released in United States on Video March 23, 1994