A man travels by horse and carriage through the night. The coachman drives the horses on. A storm threatens. The darkness is penetrated by strange lights. Suddenly, the horses take fright: there is a woman standing in the middle of the road – but then she vanishes. The man is startled, the carriage collapses, riders aim burning arrows at the forest. The man runs and runs. He falls into a deep lake – and into the past.
Q: How important is the novel by Adam Mickiewicz in Poland?
A: Adam Mickiewicz is one of the biggest polish writers that used to work in the romantic period in Poland. His works are one of the first classics that you discover at primary school in Poland. Mickiewicz the same kind of the writer in Poland as Goethe in Germany, and Byron in England. "Świteź" is one of the novels that had been published together with other poems in a compilation named “Ballady i Romanse” – (en. “Ballads and Romances”) that is taken as the beginning of the romantic period in Poland. The film is more about the universal ideas like a battle between good and evil than about the Poland it self. Life against death. The struggle of faith for the purest happiness and inner peace. I believe in the purifying strength of this energy and wish that the catharsis experienced by the protagonist when driving in the lake of Świteź will be given to every member of the audience.
Q: What were the first images you saw in your mind of your film?
A: One of the first picture that I saw in my mind was very lyrical and poetic. I saw hundreds of flaming arrows falling from the sky in to the perfect smooth surface of the lake in the night. There is now such a scene in the film but it was an inspiration for many other scenes.
Q: You are also a painter- you choose a special period of paintings for your film: very much alike of the orthodox paintings of the 12th century.
A: There are two time periods shown in the film and that is why two distinct styles of paintings were used: 1