Blizna

Directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski

Blizna/The Scar is an incisive analysis of the mechanics of power. Director Bednarz (Franciszek Pieczka), the main protagonist in the film, supervises the construction of a giant factory, which requires the cutting down of an ancient forest, despite the fact that there is wasteland in the adjacent province which could be used for this purpose. Soon, the consequences of the decision turn out to be fatal, but what is done cannot be undone. Conflicts with residents and workers become more frequent, and intensify. During the turbulent events of 1970, Bednarz supports the workers, but he is so tired and bitter that he gives up his position and goes back to Silesia to his wife and daughter, who is raising the child all on her own.

Bliza/The Scar was the cinema début of Krzysztof Kieślowski, made in 1976, and based on a short story by Romuald Karaś.

In terms of style, the film makes a clear reference to the experience of the film Director in making documentary films. Kieślowski takes a very thorough look at the main protagonist, showing both his professional life and the private one.

The title scar in the film by Kieślowski is a permanent mark on the mind of the main protagonist, but also a symbol of the irreversible changes which transform society as a consequence of ill-judged decisions and interventions of the authorities. Given this context, the film made in 1976 can be relevant in any time and place.

The Nitrogen Plant in Włocławek

According to the majority of experts, all the shots in the film showing the building of a factory were taken at the then Nitrogen Plant in Włocławek located at ul. Toruńska 222. It is indicated by the dates of erecting the successive sections of the factory.

On 17th July 1966, a decision was signed to establish a factory under the name the Włocławek Nitrogen Plant, intended for the production of chemical fertilisers. The first production lines were commissioned in the years 1971-1972. Later, in the years 1976-1985, the systems for the production of polyvinyl chloride were installed this is exactly the construction stage we see in The Scar. In the scene where a helicopter is flying over the construction site, along the stretch of cut-down trees, one can clearly see the construction of a four-lane road going to Włocławek from Toruń it is ul. Toruńska today.

Trivia

  • The town where Director Bednarz starts the construction of the chemical factory is Olecko in the film; it was “played” by Płock.
  • To this day, film critics have been arguing about whether it was the Nitrogen Plant in Włocławek or the oil refinery and petrochemical complex in Płock, which “played” the chemical factory in the film.
    Views on this matter are divided, although the shots clearly indicate it was the factory in Włocławek, at least some of them. Although this kind of dispute is always hard to solve, perfect knowledge of the city confirms that this is the place shown in the film.

Information on the film

Blizna / The Scar

Poland 1976, 102′

Directed by: Krzysztof Kieślowski

Screenplay: Krzysztof Kieślowski

Cinematography: Sławomir Idziak

Music: Stanisław Radwan

Produced by: Studio Filmowe TOR

Cast: Franciszek Pieczka, Mariusz Dmochowski, Halina Winiarska, Jerzy Stuhr, Jan Skotnicki, Stanisław Igar, Michał Tarkowski, Agnieszka Holland, and others.

Selected Awards

The Gdynia Film Festival Special Award of the Jury and an award for best actor; the Lubuskie Film Summer Golden Grape Award for the film Director; and others.

Włocławek

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