The Hourglass Sanatorium

Sanatorium pod klepsydrą

A young man named Joseph decides to visit a derelict sanatorium to see his father. He reaches the place to learn that his father has stopped breathing but is not yet dead – perhaps because of Joseph’s arrival, which may have stopped time at the sanatorium. The young man begins an astonishing journey through the rooms of the institution, each of which brings to life worlds drawn straight from the pandemonium that rages inside his soul. Based on a collection of short stories by the Polish Jewish author Bruno Schulz, The Hourglass Sanatorium is the epitome of a filmic dream. While watching, you get the sense that it is likely being created by your own subconscious in real time rather than by the director’s – exquisitely eccentric and charmingly absurd – vision. An audio-visual mosaic of surrealist images that, in a 2015 poll conducted by the Film Museum in Łódź, was ranked the fifth best Polish film of all time.
Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Wojciech Jerzy Has
Script: Wojciech Jerzy Has
Cinematography: Witold Sobociński
Editing: Janina Niedźwiecka
Music: Jerzy Maksymiuk
Actors: Jan Nowicki, Tadeusz Kondrat, Irena Orska, Halina Kowalska, Gustaw Holoubek
Co-production: Zespół Filmowy Silesia
Costumes: Lidia Skarżyńska, Jerzy Skarżyński
Format: DCP
Color: Color
Production Country: Poland
Production Year: 1973
Duration: 124'
Contact: Fixa Film
Awards/Distinctions: Special Jury Prize – Cannes FF 1973, Grand Prix – Trieste International Science Fiction FF 1974, Scenography Award – Polish FF 1974

Wojciech Jerzy Has

Born and raised in Krakow, Has completed studies at the Krakow Film Institute and at a school of fine arts. In 1948, he began directing short films and over the next ten years became known for his short and mid-length fictional features, and documentaries. In 1958, Has made his feature-length debut with the successful and acclaimed The Noose. Subsequent films have become known for their nostalgia, and they frequently chronicle the life journeys of specific characters. His first films were evocative and small in scope giving viewers a sense of intimacy. In the mid-'60s Has began expanding his films and focusing on historical epics that include The Saragossa Manuscript (1964), one of his best-known films in the West. Has was appointed director of the Leon Schiller Łódź Film School in 1981.


1958 The Noose
1960 One Room Tenants
1962 How to Be Loved
1964 The Saragossa Manuscript
1968 The Doll
1973 The Hourglass Sanatorium
1984 Wrote and Flight
1985 Memoirs of a Sinner
1986 An Uneventful Story
1988 The Tribulations of Balthazar Kober