Tom 43 (2022)

Tożsamość „ławicowa” w filmie „Barwy ochronne” Krzysztofa Zanussiego

Strony: 137-159



Krzysztof Zanussi’s film Camouflage (Barwy ochronne, 1976) is a portrayal of the academic community and the conformist attitudes of its representatives. The plot takes place during a scientific symposium. The students participating in it are to present short study papers and their lecturers are to choose the best one. Two of the main characters — Jakub Szelestowski, a professor of linguistics, and Krzuszewski, a young assistant — are foregrounded. The first one is a cynical player who manipulates both scientists and students. The second one seems naive and honest, but he turns out to be an act. The two men discuss major ethical issues such as truthfulness, courage, and scholarly ethos. The main reason for this dispute is the course of the competition for the best study paper. The plot of the film reveals a very complex world of intrigue and interests, in which individual people, adopting a conformist attitude, lose their identity. Instead, they assume a collective, shoal-like mentality. They deliberately hide behind it not to expose themselves to threats that could put a stop to their career. The main thesis of this article is that both communism and liberalism lead to nihilism in which people lose their individual identity and assume a collective one that is in constant flux, and thus threatens their freedom.