Seweryn Kuśmierczyk

The Deluge (Potop). An Analysis of Kmicic’s Revenge Scene

In this analysis, we will take a closer look at a scene from the movie The Deluge directed by Jerzy Hoffman, pictures by Jerzy Wójcik. In the scene, the protagonist, Andrzej Kmicic, takes revenge for killing his companions.

     We will analyse how the composition of the cinematic picture shows the desire for revenge that is building up in Kmicic. We will see which forms of expression were used by the creators to show the psychological truth regarding the character. Moreover, there will be a mention of filming during the magic hour and the role of fire as well as the dangers of carrying out that scene, as mentioned by Jerzy Wójcik in the book Labirynt światła.

     The firebrand illuminates the interior and shows the lying bodies of Kmicic’s murdered companions. At the same time, it lights the face of the protagonist, showing his surprise, disbelief and thoughts appearing in his mind.

     After talking with the dying Rekuć, Kmicic turns his face. Shown in a close-up, the face is hidden for a moment in the darkness and then extracted by the light of the firebrand.  Fire as an element it now carrying information on the change that happens inside the protagonist. It is the fire that will burn down the village of Wołmontowicze.

     In the space shown by the camera, the decorations of the village are located against the sky and sun in dusk. The beginning of the attack on Wołmontowicze was filmed in a very precise manner, exactly when the sun was hiding behind the horizon.

     It is the magic hour, the time of balance between day and night, forces of good and evil.

     Kmicic’s revenge and the fires engulfing Wołmontowicze are accompanied by the glow of the dusk and the upcoming night-time. The cinematic picture shows a connection between a human being and the world. The creators of the film tell the tale of a world as a unity, a living organism.

     The fire is filmed by a camera set among the burning houses; the viewer watches it from the centre of the village set aflame. Individual shots focus on the tragedy of its inhabitants, also animals. Jerzy Wójcik mentions in the book Labirynt światła that he wanted to talk about the fire by showing how everything melts down in front of the houses.  However, it was not possible as the fire was spreading too fast.  A large fiery whirl was formed and started to follow its own rules. Members of the crew, actors and extras tried to save their lives by crawling from beneath the burning decorations.

The Deluge (Potop). An Analysis of Kmicic s_Revenge_Scene