The Hour-Glass Sanatorium (or Sanatorium Pod Klepsydra in Polish) is an adaptation of Bruno Schulz’s story collection Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass. Schulz was seen as the Polish Kafka.
The film depicts its protagonist, Joseph (Jan Nowicki), traveling through a dream-like world, taking a dilapidated train to visit his dying father in a sanatorium. When he arrives at the hospital, he finds the entire facility is going to ruin and no one seems to be in charge, or even caring for the patients. Time appears to behave in unpredictable ways, reanimating the past in an elaborate artificial caprice.
The many occurrences in this visually potent phantasmagoria include Joseph re-entering childhood episodes with his eccentric father being arrested by a mysterious unit of soldiers, reflecting on a girl he knew in his boyhood and bringing historic wax figures to life with names from a postage stamp album. Throughout his strange journey, an ominous blind train conductor reappears like a death figure. Has also adds a series of reflections on the Holocaust that were not present in the original novel, reading Schulz’s prose through the prism of the author’s tragic death during World War II and the demise of the world he described.
- Import DVD
- PAL All Region
- Polish with English Subtitles