Views of a retired Night Porter

In Krzysztof Kieślowski´s poignant 1977 documentary short, From a Night Porter´s Point of View, the protagonist, a typical exponent of the communist system, reveals his sometimes hilarious, sometimes shocking attitudes. Driven by paranoia, misanthropy and a profound distrust in the human race, the night porter´s favourite pastime is to control others, even when off-duty.
In 2005 Austrian filmmaker Andreas Horvath finds the now retired night porter alive and relatively well in a Warsaw suburb. He lives on a minimum pension in a characterless one-room apartment, the most memorable feature being a glaring wallpaper depicting a Hawaiian idyll. His views have not changed much in 30 years – but Poland has, and so, without the support of a corrupt regime, the former night porter´s tirades seem strangely out of place. This film is a swan song to a long gone era and one of its unflinching representatives.

(Prod. note)


In the late seventies, Krzysztof Kieślowski made the short documentary From a Night Porter´s Point of View, in which a night watchman unleashed his dubious viewpoints in a monologue. He always kept a close eye on his fellow citizens, and in his mind, the law was superior to man. Almost 30 years later, Andreas Horvath revisits this man, who lives in a Warsaw suburb. He is retired now, his wife is dead, and a lot has changed in his country, but his mentality is unaltered. He watches westerns on TV because he likes the violence, he is in favour of the death penalty and chopping off the hands of thieves, and he prefers the former Communist system over the current one. On his wall, there is a large poster of a tropical paradise. Using subtle dissolves, Horvath follows the man as he returns to the places from the time when everything was better and people still respected him. Even if his world view has not changed in the least, the viewer will see him in a different light. Kieslowski´s film was the portrait of a representative of a certain regime, but this film is about an old and lonely man who nobody really takes seriously.

(IDFA.nl)

Orig. Title
Views of a retired Night Porter
Year
2006
Countries
Austria, Poland
Duration
38 min
Director
Andreas Horvath
Category
Documentary
Orig. Language
polish
Credits
Director
Andreas Horvath
Concept
Andreas Horvath
Cinematography
Andreas Horvath
Music
Marek Grechuta
Editing
Andreas Horvath
Sound
Andreas Horvath
Interviews
Monika Muskala
Available Formats
Digital Betacam PAL (Distribution Copy)
Format of Picture
4:3
Format of Sound
stereo
Format of Color
colour