Michal Toporny grows up in practically archaic conditions in the country. His life is governed by the changing of the seasons and only consists of fields, livestock and his family. It is the village teacher who takes him on, providing him with encouragement and arousing his curiosity for the world outside. After the war ends, new opportunities arise for the gifted farmer’s son. Although he would never have previously had the chance to get a proper education, Toporny ends up finishing high school and moves to the city to study at the university, leaving his wife and son behind. He quickly starts to climb the career ladder at the university and youth association and later in a large company. He also meets another woman and has a son with her. Toporny becomes one of the many small socialist functionaries who jealously guard their hard-won privileges and deny their rural backgrounds. But Toporny’s past, the traumas of his early childhood and the connections he left behind, won’t leave him in peace. He ages prematurely and has the feeling that there is something missing in his life that he can’t put his finger on. As he begins to lose control of both his family and professional lives, he becomes more and more obsessed with his own power. After many years, he returns to his home town for the first time where death awaits him.
by Grzegorz Królikiewicz
with Franciszek Trzeciak, Beata Tyszkiewicz, Czeslaw Przybyla