Without Anesthesia

Without Anesthesia

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Without Anesthesia

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Without Anesthesia (alternative English title: Rough Treatment) is the English-language title for the Polish film Bez znieczulenia, released in 1978, directed by Andrzej Wajda. It was entered in the 1979 Cannes Film Festival.

According to the screenplay, Without Anesthesia takes place in the 1960s. Jerzy (Zbigniew Zapasiewicz), a well-known journalist and foreign correspondent who reports on wars, revolutions and guerrilla movements in the third world, is a man whose world is falling apart.

The main character is based on Ryszard Kapuściński, the prominent Polish journalist and author of the "reportage" school.Tomasz Łubieński, "Kapuściński's pupil?" Gazeta Wyborcza, 3 March 2010, p. 13 (in Polish) ("Ryszard Kapuściński was the original model for the main character of Andrzej Wajda's film Without Anesthesia.")

The film opens with Jerzy sitting in as a celebrity-guest on a mildly idiotic television talkshow, but when he returns home that evening, he finds that his wife has walked out on him, taking their daughter with her, to live with a younger man. On its surface, the film seems to be about Jerzy's attempts to win back his wife, Ewa (Ewa Dalkowska), and to come to some understanding about what went wrong with their marriage. But as is often the case with Polish films, what went wrong is inextricably bound up with politics.


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