This is the train’s final destination. But the imposing building of baroque grandeur out in the open is only a temporary resting-place: a spa named Ciechocinek – very well known all across Poland. The guests stay here for a few days or weeks, far from their everyday life, their relatives and friends: here they are supposed to recuperate and heal, far from everything that made them sick. Here there’s no time-clock – life has a different rhythm defined by sleeping, eating, healing. Maciej Cuske’s direction and Radek Ladczuk’s camera have adjusted to that rhythm. The camera follows the summer-guests through the foyers of the spa, through the parks; watches them sitting on the benches – observed observers. Extremely long takes and the absence of a musical score or comment fit well with the quiet of the place. But even when it sometimes seems that nothing is happening, life has not stopped – on the contrary, it demands its due. The process of healing can also be seen during activities: people flirt, dance and celebrate – and, yes, also drink and quarrel. Groups form and some people even find new friends. This is how this life – seemingly removed from normality – nevertheless mirrors what happens beyond the green lawns and avenues. Because somewhere down the road, after weeks of relaxation, having been able to concentrate on themselves, they will be standing at the train-station again; hopefully in better condition. And the train will depart again.
Caligari: 11.04. / 3.30 p.m.