The Third Part of the Night (encore screening!)

Co-presented by the Polish Cultural Institute New York, BAMcinématek & Cinespia

Emerging right out of the gate with a debut as emotionally potent and stylistically inventive as any of his dazzling later works, Andrzej Zulawski’s masterful fever dream The Third Part of the Night is an elliptical wonder on par with the most mind-stretching intellectual Moebius strips of Tarkovsky and David Lynch. Based on the real-life experiences of Zulawski’s father during the Nazi occupation of Poland, the film follows a fugitive who, after witnessing the murder of his wife and child, is hurled into a life that literally is not his own. Littered with trapdoors, doubles, and wormholes, Zulawski creates a cinematic world on the verge of collapse, where doppelgangers and dread abound alongside the true untold story of a Nazi vaccine laboratory, where Jews and members of the resistance were “employed” as feeders for parasites infected with typhus (thus protecting them from persecution.) It’s a history that’s mind-bogglingly fascinating on its own; in Zulawski’s hands, it’s one of the most unique war films ever created.
Dir. Andrzej Zulawski, 1971, 35mm, 105 min.