Ostatni etap

The Last Stage | Die letzte Etappe
The female prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp come from many countries. Wanda Jakubowska drew from numerous individual testimonies for her realistic depiction of everyday life there, a balancing act between forced labour and the infirmary, between death threats and the will to live. The cruelty of the guards and the SS mass murders are on full display. But amid the constant pall of smoke from the crematoria chimneys, there are also acts of opposition and solidarity as the women prepare for their liberation by Russia’s Red Army … Shot on location, using non-professional actors from the area around Oświęcim, as it is called in Polish, Ostatni etap has a strong documentary feel. This is buttressed by each of the protagonists speaking her own native language. The original negative of the film has not survived. The restoration used a duplicate negative that, due to an error in the lab, had severe exposure fluctuations. Those were corrected, along with the frame stability, mechanical damage, and problems with the audio. Missing frames were replaced. World premiere of the version digitally restored by Poland’s National Film Archive in cooperation with Tor Film Production.
by Wanda Jakubowska
with Wanda Bartówna, Huguette Faget, Tatjana Górecka, Antonina Górecka, Maria Winogradowa, Barbara Drapińska, Aleksandra Śląska, Barbara Fijewska, Anna Redlichówna, Alina Janowska
Poland 1948 Polish, Russian, German 109’ Black/White

With

  • Wanda Bartówna
  • Huguette Faget
  • Tatjana Górecka
  • Antonina Górecka
  • Maria Winogradowa
  • Barbara Drapińska
  • Aleksandra Śląska
  • Barbara Fijewska
  • Anna Redlichówna
  • Alina Janowska

Crew

Director Wanda Jakubowska
Screenplay Wanda Jakubowska, Gerda Schneider
Cinematography Boris Monastyrski
Editing Róża Pstrokońska
Music Roman Palester
Sound Jan Radlicz, Leonard Księzak
Art Director Jan Rybkowski
Production Design Roman Mann, Czesław Piaskowski
Assistant Director Jerzy Kawalerowicz

Produced by

Przedsiębiorstwo Państwowe Film Polski

Additional information

DCP: National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute, Warsaw, restoration by Poland’s National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute, in cooperation with Tor Film Production. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

Wanda Jakubowska

Filmography

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020