The plot consists of a Rashomon-like 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 World War II, one in the immediate aftermath of the war and one in contemporary Poland. In each, the 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 of the day 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 villainy are so often matters of point of view and timing.
Read More »