Andrzej Wajda: Roly Poly (Przekładaniec)

Roly Poly (Przekładaniec), Andrzej Wajda, 35', Poland,  ZDF 6.3.1969, OV with English subtitles

The brothers Richard and Thomas Fox are rally drivers. Following an accident in which Thomas dies, his organs are transplanted to Richard. This leads to insurance and private disputes about whether Richard now lives on in part as Thomas. Another accident and further transplants take the question of Richard’s identity so far to the point of absurdity that his own death seems the only possible solution. According to the 1968 ZDF text, the celebrated Polish director Andrzej Wajda shot this hard-hitting satire about medical-scientific progress as a “sociocritical utopia” based on a story by Stanisław Lem. In view of current embryo research, the film’s fundamental political-ethical question seems more pertinent than ever.

Andrzej Wajda (1926–2016) was one of Poland’s most important film directors. For his films, he was honoured with the highest awards in Cannes, Venice and Berlin. He received a European Film Award, a Golden Bear and an Oscar for his life’s work. Roly Poly (1968) is Wajda’s only work for Das kleine Fernsehspiel. Crime and Punishment (1988) and I Remember (2002) were shown in the Berlinale Forum.