The legendary feature film by Andrzej Żulawski one of the most controversial Polish directors, hailed as iconoclast, provocateur and visionary.
In 2015 the „Taste of Cinema” website chose „On the Silver Globe” as the best non-Hollywood sc-fi picture of all time, rating Żulawski’s film higher than masterpieces such as Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” or Andriej Tarkowski’s “Stalker”.
The premiere of “On the Silver Globe” was held in Cannes on May 12, 1988, opening the non-contest section.
A liberal adaptation of the first two tomes of the „Lunar Trilogy” (“On the Silver Globe” and “The Victor”) by modernist writer Jerzy Żulawski, who was also the director’s great uncle.
Hidden under a façade of science of fiction is an ambitious philosophical treatment on unchanging human nature which makes it impossible to achieve true freedom and exceed one’s own limitations. A visionary masterpiece similar to psychedelic puzzle, full of references to religion, history and culture.
Four astronauts settle on an alien planet in attempt to create their own paradise, free of the weaknesses and the vices of modern civilization. The ambitious concept is quickly warped by their degenerate descendants who unknowingly repeat all the errors once already made by the human race: establishing hierarchical society, revering false gods, striving for expansion and conflict with the more highly developed Szerns… When a stranger arrives on their planet they first see him as their savior, though in the end they betray and murder him proving that evil and vice are not rooted in circumstance or environment, but in man himself.
„On the Silver Globe” stands out thanks to the innovative visual form which can only now be fully appreciated. Unusual hand-held shots are especially interesting. The first part of the film in which the viewer watches events from the perspective of a camera allows labeling Żulawski’s film as a preview of the currently highly popular “found footage” technique.
Work on the high-budget production was interrupted in 1977 by deputy culture and art minister Januszh Wilhelmi. The majority of the film sets and costumes were destroyed. Soon after Anrdzej Żuławski was forced to leave Poland. He returned to complete his unfinished masterpiece after nearly a decade. He used para-documentary footage from various parts of Poland with voice overs to tell the missing parts of the storyline. Since some actors who initially performed in “On the Silver Globe” couldn’t take part in audio postproduction, so the dubbing was applied in the final version of the film. Michal Bajor voiced Andrzej Seweryn; Maria Pakulnis voiced Grazyna Dyląg and Krzysztof Kolberger voiced Leszek Dlugosz.