The Ashes (1965) Script

THE ASHES


ITALY, 1797

Poland has not yet died, So long as we still live.

That which alien force has seized, We at sabrepoint shall retrieve.

March, march, Dąbrowski, To Poland from Italy.

Under thy command Let us now rejoin the nation.

Like Czarniecki to Poznań Returned across the sea To free our fatherland from chains Fighting with the Swede.

Praise be to Jesus Christ.

Forever and ever.

What arm are you? We are riflemen.

From the 1st company of the 2nd battalion.

What formation?

Who is your commander? General Dąbrowski.

Oh, really? It is nice to greet a compatriot.

Cross the Vistula and Warta And Poles we shall be.

We've been shown by Bonaparte Ways to victory.


'Rytm' film producer group presents an Andrzej Wajda film

Starring

Co-starring

And

Art direction Cooperation

Costumes

Armies, convoys, carriages and mass scenes, projects and implementation:

Cooperation Consultants: works of art, battle scene painting, uniforms, weaponry, customs, dances, equestrianism, vehicles Film made with the support of the Ministry of National Defence and Bulgarian Army units Filming in Bulgaria with the support of Kinocenter-Sofia Production cooperation Directorial cooperation Production cooperation

Make-up

Sound Cooperation Editing Cooperation Film made with the support of 'Rytm' Group Artistic director, literary director, production manager Cinematographers Cooperation Assistant director And Directorial cooperation

Music

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber music and vocal group Conducted by a Composer Production management

Screenplay

Cinematography

Directed by

Whoa, Baśka!


Sleigh ride!

Play, Jews! Sleigh ride!

Let's ride!


Go home, Baśka!

We've been sleigh riding for three days now, from manor to manor.

Haven't we, Helenka?

Who invited you here? Sleigh ride, hey!

Giddy up!


Our house is humble and old, but let's have some fun!

Who is next?

The water's cold, young master. I will warm you up!

I will give you a ducat. Come on!

Cold water, your lordship. I will give you two ducats!

I will go.

Me too.

And me.

Give Baśka a blanket!


Walenty! Kaśka! Hurry up!

Where are you?

Bring the bread!

...gracing me with your presence!

Come, my good ladies! Neighbours, gentlemen and brethren!

Welcome to my humble abode!

My fair lady, dearest neighbour...

Let us form the first pair.

Are you afraid of turoń, my lady?

Not at all but he snapped at me so...

I sometimes think he is standing outside the window, in rain and wind, and I can hear his snapping.

I look, and it's nothing.

Nothing.

It is only the wind howling.

Do not fool me with your horrors!

You are a troublemaker.

They say you pricked Petel with a knife.

How is it that you know me so well, my lady?

From your reputation.

I have never seen you before.

...scolding us kind-heartedly...

You knew me as a child, but took no notice of me.

Like a butterfly from a chrysalis...

Helenka...

'Helenka' you say, but you were devouring auntie with your eyes.

I do not care for your aunt!

But...

She is more beautiful and more experienced...

I would teach you...

You must be quite a professor!

It is a wonder with these talents they threw you out of the gymnasium!

I am better off expelled than many they accepted.

Braggart!

My house is your house!

It is very crowded, neighbour!

Time to feast!


Go and adore auntie.

I have grown tired of you.

Be so kind as to...

You will make a lovely pair!

Drink it down!

I will go mad!


Please, excuse the break in such a fascinating conversation.

I had to welcome unexpected guests, as Polish tradition demands.

But I am all ears now.

Can we resume? Well... Be my guest.

Baron von Lipowski, the first imperial commissioner of the Sandomierz Kreisamt, asked me to express his discontent at your absence during the ceremony of pledging allegiance to the Habsburg dynasty.

Did you receive a letter pertaining to this? I might have.

But I only need paper for loading powder.

And as for the departure...

Since our country lost its independence I have not left my house.

And I will not leave, even if sticks are falling from the sky!

You can say that to the first baron of... Sandomierz something.

Sandomierz Kreisamt.

It may be. I have no feel for these names.

You should regret. The whole ceremony went as planned.

The procession began on the outskirts of Josefstadt.

I beg your pardon?

On the outskirts of a town formerly known as Podgórze.

Well, well... Formerly known as...

Now it is Josefstadt?

Cavalry, trumpeters, Polish gentry on beautiful horses...

Gentry, you say.

Polish ladies in carriages, townsmen and clergy.

Quite a spectacle...

A total silence fell.

And then at Wawel the great ancient Sigismund bell began to toll.

Hang the card!

In the evening, six thousand noblemen rejoiced and danced.

I am glad to hear it. Very glad indeed...

Here I am, sitting like a recluse among wolves and foxes...

The ancient royal Sigismund bell.

Let my heart fill with the joy of that day.

A salute!

Gunpowder smoke does not bother me.

But maybe the honourable squire could refrain from firing.

From this day on no peasant... What do you care about my peasants, sir?

Presshafte Leute, those that have been failing in health and old people over 60 years of age are to be exempt from labour.

Keep loading, or I will smash your head!

Every serf... What now?

Every serf mistreated by their master can complain to the authorized commissioner himself!

Let them try... it was further ordered...

How dare you mention that in the house of a Polish noble!

I hereby announce that on the orders of the authorities peasants will work for you no longer than 3 days a week, sir!

I am the master here. I am the law.

My forefathers sat here. It is my land, and my people.

My country!

I will not allow that, as God is my witness!

I am not afraid of a loaded gun.

Tell the alderman to gather the whole village at the courtyard.

I shall read the official directives.

Let Jawor spread the news in the village. They are to come - one and all!

On my command, you hear me?!

Tomek Zawiślak will be punished for getting at trees in my forest.

I hereby declare, my sir, that it will not happen.

Beating is strictly forbidden.

150 strokes of the birch, just like in my father's, grandfather's and their fathers' times.

...and from the other side. He drew in horns at once!

You amuse yourself all alone?

Let go off that goblet!

You are neglecting your duties...

Helenka!

I will come to you at night, and knock thrice on the shutter.

Wait for me!

You hear me?!

Father will see you, Rafciu!

What is that, my good sirs?

I will knock thrice... on the heart.

You will...

You know what? You spend too much time with the swine.

Who am I to spend time with, you donkey?!

Little sister...

I will marry you off to a prince!

Listen, how wonderful it sounds.

Her Illustrious Highness...

I know, but father is coming!


And now everyone heads their own ways!

What an intolerable oppression of the heart!

That I must say goodbye to you all and stay here alone.

Truly, such separation would be equal to death, if it were not for a joyous hope...

Goodbye, sir. Time to move on.

...that we will soon embrace, and that our hearts, linked by affection, will not be divided.


Strike!


64 bottles of Gdańska vodka, a whole bottle of Hungarian wine...

Not to mention honey!

We dazzled them! Dazzled!

Key to the stables.


Why are you lurking there?

You are up to some mischief again.

If I ever see you on Baśka again, I will give you a good beating.

If I were to lose my horse, I would kill you!

Take the newspaper.

Where were we?

Letter from General Bonaparte to the directorate.

Read on.

Speak more distinctly, so that the sense stands out.

Verona, 1796, 29th of Briumer...

What?

It says here...

Briu...

...mer.

What is it, this 'Briumer'?

I don't know.

If you knew anything, you beanpole...

Your education was a waste of money.

Go on!

'I am so tired by troubles, citizens directors...'

Who are these 'citizen directors'?

Well... I don't know.

If I felt like getting up, I'd give you a hiding!

You would smarten up straight away.

'Hearing that field marshal Alvinzy...' More clearly...

...is approaching Verona'

You probably don't know 'Verona' either.

I know. It is a city in Italy.

You know-all, you...

'I went with divisions of generals Augereau and Masseny...'

Who? Masseny. 'Along the river Etsch.'

What river? Etsch.

'General Augereau seized... the flags, took them to the end of the bridge, where he stayed for some minutes, but to no avail...'

The Austrians gave them a good beating. The French got scared.

Do you understand, feather-head? I do.

Read on.

'I went alone...'

Who went alone? The one from the beginning.

Bonaparte.

'My presence of mind... impressed the army so greatly that...


A WINTER'S NIGHT


Did you call me? No, auntie.

What was it? Dogs.

Obviously not the birds.

They smelt the cat. How do you know?

I heard meowing.

Didn't you hear neighing? No.

Why are you still up? I'm going to bed now.

Goodnight. Goodnight.


So you have come out to me.

Was I supposed to wait until you woke the whole house up?

Helena!

Your moustache is wet.

Maybe next time...

Go on, search for her!

Faster! Maybe next time...

What? I shall come without it.

Without what? The moustache.

No need for that. If you dislike it.

In the mood for love, young lady?!

Wet, I said.

You've brought disgrace upon yourself! I'm sending you off to your parents tomorrow.

With a letter!


Go faster, Baśka!

Run!


Take this, for Baśka!


LONELY


Come inside. No.

The master strictly forbids it. God bless you, Rafał.

Who are you? His brother.

The captain is very weak. He is ailing.

You came alone? Alone.

Are mother and father alive? Yes.

In good health? Yes.

Zofka? Healthy, brother.

Has the good father asked you to tell me...

Nothing.

When I was leaving, I barely saw him.

He was out in the fields. In the fields?

He didn't say goodbye?

No.

Because... Say it. I will not rebuke you.

You had to get into daddy's bad books...

He told me to get out of the house. Why?

Because I rode his mare too hard. Only because of that?

Only.

What was the mare?

Baśka. Popielatka's foal.

I haven't seen it.

I haven't been home for a long time.

Michcik! Dinner!

Set the table for two, you hear me?

Yes, sir!

You see...

I ran away from home without a goodbye, chased by the dogs.

I came to Tarniny from cadet school when I was an officer.

My head was full of thoughts.

I don't know if you can understand me.

We believed the whole Republic rested on our shoulders, and we would rescue it.

Father...

He broke my officer's sword with his own hands.

And then...

For so many years...

Not even a word.

Father didn't know anything about you, brother.

Neither did we.

What were you to know? The same as about everyone...

In Szczekociny the Prussians stabbed me with a bayonet.

I was lying on a field, among dead bodies.

This soldier here came back for me at night, carried me away.

In fact, there was nothing to come back for.

I took this lease.

I am clearing junipers, sadness torments me...

I cannot... I cannot talk.

I know.

You heard about it at home? Yes.

What did they say?

That you incited peasants to kill us all.

You are stupid. What a pity.


That's Duke Gintułt. Master of Włonica, lord of this manor.

Captain!

I have come again to inquire about your health.

Why haven't you summoned my doctor, as I asked you to?

Why don't you move closer to me, closer to the world.

I would like to be with you more often, Piotruś.

It is empty here. Forests and sand, it feels gloomy and strange.

You can lease any other village in a more cheerful place.

If the duke allows...

I wouldn't like to move from here.

You know how much I love you.

I read you like an open book.

Your sickness is... thoughts.

Thoughts have ceased.

I look at you, and I think I am committing a crime.

Why do you agonize over something long gone?

What is there to say?

Let us remain silent, both of us.

What could we have done more? Fight.

Remember the herds of human cattle with swords at their side, which they used to cut every wiser head at the regional diet?

The snouts howling on command, the empty, despicable, shaven heads that were to constitute authority, let alone laws.

Why bring that up, my duke?

To prevent you from crying about depriving these animals of rights, your paradise.

This was your aristocratic paradise. You know that.

Today your words no longer leave these painful hieroglyphs in my heart.

Don't think I've grown mean.

I have once more risen, like then, with your words ringing in my ears.

I've given myself to an illusion.

Legions!

Return to the country, paid with blood.

Our weakness and shame washed away by armed action.

Instead... An Austrian dungeon we were thrown in because of betrayal of those so many had died for.

It was in April 1799.

I found myself in Mantua, imprisoned behind city walls during a siege lasting many weeks.

Austrian Marshal, Baron Kreys, had broken the left wing of the French forces.

Survivors of the Polish 2nd league had also shut themselves in Mantua.

I came to the conclusion that my passport with all the visas would be of no use to me.

And that I should put on the green uniform of an artilleryman and stand in line.

I was returning from Egypt with the aim of doing something different.

I hurried from the Holy Land to the Homeland.

Meanwhile, fortune's whims had embroiled me in the most transient of all things.

While I was sleeping like a log, in sweat, shivers and darkness, it was declared that the French had surrendered the city.

The garrison was leaving with honour, according to capitulation read in the ranks.

Its second paragraph stated that Polish forces were to be treated exactly like the forces of the French Republic.

The League was ordered to close the column.

The French army was leaving before us.


I was walking in a group of Polish officers.

I started my service as a cannoneer, not to aggravate the exhausted officers returning from battlefields with quarrels about the ranks, and not to benefit from the prerogatives of my name.

We didn't expect anything.

Our thoughts, clouded with malaria, were confused and lost...

Halt!


Field marshal Kray de Krayova announced that what was happening was done on the strength of an additional, secret paragraph to the capitulation.

Polish soldiers and officers, as subjects of His Imperial Majesty, and deserters from under the Austrian banners, would be turned in individually to the regiments they belonged to.

Then the French commandant of the city appeared, General Foissac-Latour He was the one that had signed the shameful act.


What did our despair turn into?

Distress, injury, exile?

Only the scabs of disgrace.

Memories of insults still wake me up at night.

Your strict duties will no longer lure me.

Do you hear me? I hear you well.

On my return, I found everything in a far better state than I had expected.

My material interests have never been better.

Has the grain or land ever cost so much?

Grudno itself is worth thrice as much.

If so, maybe it will be easier for me to play the role of a benefactor.

At your expense, my duke.

Gladly.

What is the matter?

The soldier who carried me away from the battlefield is your serf.

I would like to repay him...

But I can't.

Shall I free citizen... what's his name? - from serfdom, elevate him, make him my equal?

Ennoble him?

Not only him, the whole village.

Can you doubt?

Thanks to you, I have one more day on this Earth.

Michcik!

Fall at the lord's feet.

Captain, the duke has freed you.

I hate these sentimental scenes! They disgust me.

Spare me one thing: embraces of the rabble.

He is a soldier.

Just like me and...

You freed the rabble who now dare to attack us.

Say no more, my lord.

You would explain yourself, if you were strong enough to stand.

Explain?

This I can still do.

I would kill you with a single thrust.

I have the right to choose!

Michcik!

Pistols!

There are witnesses.

What witnesses? I can't see any.

My brother.

Your brother.

You will kindly assign me citizen Michcik.

He is a soldier.

One, two, three, four...


Jesus!


You are the brother of this pitiful philosopher?

Yes.

I am Nikodem Chłuka from Poliniec.

Olbromski.

I will lease Wygnanka from the duke.

Your brother, God help him, looked after that land rather beautifully.

How so?

Well, he spoilt the peasants, so they take to the field grudgingly.

Especially this - what's his name - Michcik. I have my eyes set on this one.

I don't know anything.

You don't know...

And the home farm has gone to the dogs.

And who cleared the junipers?! That's right.

Everything here needs attention, but that's my worry now.

She has nice eyes.

Very beautiful. Indeed.

Who's that? The youngest Gintułt daughter, Elżbieta.

A princess?

You fancy her, don't you?


Mount your horse gingerly and be careful on the road, Elisabeth.

Yes, brother.

If I'm not mistaken...

You are the brother of Captain Olbromski.

Yes, sir.

Are your parents alive? They are.

Have you notified them of the funeral?

I have.

Good. I could have thought about it myself.

Maybe we should have postponed the funeral.

Postpone? For them?

Yes.

The parents wouldn't come anyway. Why is that?

They are elderly. Besides...

Besides, what?

Besides, they live far away from here.

You will have to carry the sad news home.

Your brother was my confidant and friend in the old days of our military service.

That's why our conversations seemed at times harsh to those that didn't know about our friendship.

Maybe you also thought the way I spoke to your brother impolite?

Not at all.

We needn't tell anyone.

People would say that we parted company with your brother at variance.

You know that we parted as friends, even though debating...

Yes.

You shouldn't mention that to your parents.

Grieving, they could think...

I am not..., your grace...

Yes?

I can't return home.

Why is that?

Your grace...

Both my brother and I...

Then I shall invite you to my house.

You will stay as long as you like.

You will leave when you wish.

The memory of your brother will not let me stay here any longer.

I'm leaving for Warsaw.

Please, treat Grudno, my house, as your own.

You can write to your parents, saying I had financial dealings with Piotr.

I owe him money, and so we will settle our accounts.

Come, join us now.


I hope they will serve potatoes today.

I hate the groats, buckwheat, barley, that you are feeding us, brother.

I think we deserve a reward for this never-ending funeral, that you have made us endure.

COURTIER This poor peasant we didn't even know, must have meant a lot to you.

I beg you...

I am sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you.

Look at this strange animal.

He is a bumpkin, isn't he?

Do you associate with riff-raff now?

Elisabeth, I forbid you.

After dinner, I'm leaving for Warsaw.

Play the harpsichord,

and be... more humane.

We will all accompany you, won't we?

Will you allow that?

I agree.

Thank you.

When you are in Warsaw, make sure to take notice of what is in fashion. You will tell me when you return.

I also count on presents...

Look at that glutton.


Let us race!


You idiot!

Blimey!

Safe journey...

Olbromski?

Come here, please.

Where did you buy this red mark from?

When we were running by a tree, the princess bent a birch twig

and kindly let it go at me.

You finished your schooling? Yes. In Sandomierz.

Do you know Latin and Greek? Yes, sir.

Then you will come with me to Warsaw.

If talents allow, you will be my secretary.

Now go to Chłuka, and tidy yourself up.

Otherwise they will ridicule you.


EXECUTION I served under the commander, you scoundrels, you Krauts!

Respect me, you dog! I am a soldier.

I've been to battles. Fought under Kościuszko!

Well, Michcik...

Come to your senses, for the love of our Lord, Christ.

Otherwise you will go to the army, take my word for it.

What is wrong with you?

Trying to strike your master?

Inciting the people?

Go to the field, and do your share of work.

Well, Michcik...

Now you see who your master is.

Respect me, you dog! I am a free man!

Olbromski! Welcome.

What is going on here, Mr Chłuka? Can't you see?

Wait a minute... Who fixed your face like that, huh?


What do you want from me? What could I have done?!

Why are you staring at me like that?

What?!

IN PRUSSIAN WARSAW


I am the duke's secretary. The master awaits you in the library.


You have no inclination towards books, do you?

You have sown the Sandomierz wheat, rye and even barley...

That's right.

And you have grown tired of it.

Indeed.

You yearned for the world.

I did.

You see, I have wandered around the world.

I was in Italy.

I stopped briefly in Egypt.

You know, the one in Africa.

I know.

I followed the trail of a commander, a general, an advocate of illusions, the Napoleon you must have heard about.

I was in Egypt after the war that took place there.

But the pyramids, Sphinxes, cities, lost obelisks...

Appealed to me so much I forgot about the aim of my journey.

If you will, we shall write down various things about these far away countries, especially the desert.

You will consider it strange, but will soon forget, stop thinking about it.

I will explain that later.

I am at the duke's disposal.

One more thing.

I oblige you to keep silent about everything we read, write, speak and do here.

I would like you to grow accustomed to the fact that you know nothing about me, hear nothing and understand nothing.

You will give me your gentleman's word on it.

Can you?

I give you my word.

We have plenty of rooms here. Choose the one you like.

You will have to rely on the only servant I keep here.

And now... read.

I am almost an ignoramus where Latin is concerned.

GNOSIS I am very glad that we have come back to our joint meditations.


I have the honour of introducing my secretary. It is a pleasure to meet you, sir.

Thanks to him I am making faster progress in my work.

That is very good.

Have you come straight from the countryside?

He has never been here before. He knows no one in Warsaw.

Isn't that so? That's true.

For a couple of years he used to sow, plough...

Working on the land is the highest form of happiness.

This is my whole-hearted belief.

I have never been so happy to experience that grace myself.

Have you ever seen such a moment?

Looking at the naked land, trembling under the sun?

The water covering it, shining, and the moss of small grass stooping, settling in, like a vague smoke.

I have seen it.

The Pelasgian tribes have another apparition that we have relished with the duke many a time.

Isn't that so?

It's true, master.

I am sorry to try your patience.

Please excuse the talkative nature of a soldier.

But... your grace...

Now go out on the town.

You deserve praise for not doing that earlier.

You have tackled this trial far better that I expected you to, with that exuberant temper of yours.

Every time I have contact with the beautiful world of the Greeks, I become a pagan!

My emotions are so lazy, so base...

The only thing that still moves me is spring.

Now let us return to Augustine...


I will not marry, I will not hurry. I will give some joy to the girls.

Krzysztof Cedro. In person.

What are you doing in the capital? Making eyes?

Yes. At whom?

At Duke Gintułt. You and Gintułt?

What's so strange about that?

How long have you been in Warsaw? For five months.

Five months in this dead place...

What are you doing in the palace?

I am his secretary.

Since there is no Poland, no one holds any office here.

What is your duke secretly writing?

And you help him.

It sounds so silly, it fills me with abhorrence.

What am I to do? I don't know anyone here.

You know me.

I am your faithful familiar school friend.

I know everyone.

Life is delightful here, trust me.

Would you believe I have been trying to leave for weeks, and every day something nice deters me.

Just like today.

I am not deterring you at all.

Oh, don't be so gloomy, Rafał!

We have five months to make up for.

But you are leaving. How could I?

Who will introduce you to everyone, but me?

This is cosmopolitan living, my fair Sandomierz child!


You want to drink the last bottle of freedom, you rascals?

Prove he is guilty, otherwise we will sentence you to paying for the whole supper.

What?! Me again?

Stop! Placha is celebrating.

Get away from the door, or else I might hurt you.

For God's sake, I'm afraid!

The captain will shoot me with a poisoned bullet.

You have long deserved that for wasting such a grand palace.

You scoundrel!

Who is the one in the robe? The duke.

What duke? Duke Józef Poniatowski, you fool!

Krzysio, finally!

But master... I never wear that medal.

Your highness, it's the newest one, Prussian!

Bear in mind, sirs, how hard it is to be Polish these days.

For heaven's sake!

Take me: I'm a general of Prussia, Russia, and Austria.

Gentlemen. I wish you a pleasant evening.

So soon? I always take a ride at this time.

Don't leave us, duke.

Don't abandon us.

We'll go with you.

Gentlemen, such a horde after one lady?

Love invariably all the time, that's my motto.

That was incredibly moving.

What shall we do?

Theatre, demoiselles, ballet?

Drinking!

Krzysztof, you haven't left yet?

Let me introduce my cousin.

Olbromski, lord of Sandomierz.

Sit with us, Pole.

How about a game? It costs a dime.

Don't worry about the money. Play.

Your daddy will skin you alive, Mr Cedro.

We are referring to a Wojsiatycz, who wanted to enter high society, and ended up at the masonry meeting.

They told him to...

I have no memory for commoners.

One day you will have to pay the debts.

Which Olbromskis are you from, pray tell.

Nonentities.

Sandomierz, I said.

I drink to you, brother. What is your name?

Rafał.

He is bene at Latin.

Look, our peasant has won!


Mr Cedro, is this one alive or wind-up?

Give me a key.

Put him down, it is human, a neighbour.

You won't believe it, but we are humans too.

Quite real too.

Olbromski...

You must be Piotr's relative.

He is my brother.

Where is he now, the misanthrope? He is dead.

What a pity.

He wasn't a rogue, like you and I.

Because you're a rogue too.

If you weren't, you wouldn't wander the streets at night.

Piotr was a wise man.

He knew we would drink everything away.

And we drank away the whole country.

Poland has not yet died!


Form a line!

You are scoundrels, breeches!

Pull left, pull right!

Hold it.


Help us!

Faster!

Let's have breakfast!

Oh, desert, remotely enjoying God...

Oh, forest, blooming with the flowers of Christ...

I am pleased with you.

You have turned out to be willing and obedient.

I have recommended you to Mr de With.

And he was kind enough to agree.

If you wish, you can approach us even closer.

You will be accepted into the lodge Mr de With is the Grand Master of.

The lodge? Mr de With is a high-ranking Mason.

I also have that honour. I can vouch for you.

I feel honoured.

That's right.

Your honour will be even greater, as you will be accepted together with the Master's young wife.

We trust our brothers completely.

And only them.

LODGE OF AN APPRENTICE

I shall inform you about our seven duties.

Trust, honesty, obedience, moderation, patience, courage, and silence.

Do you feel capable of always keeping these obligations?

Yes.

Since you claim so, I will have to try you.

Do you dare go through the trials?

I do.

Be gone, you wretched man. I hereby abandon you to your fate.

Worldly braggart, pray say...

Is it curiosity or real zeal to be accepted among us?

Zeal.

Brother senior warden, make him search for light, and take a journey from West to East.

Bow your head.

Lift your legs high.

How did he conduct himself? Very well, most reverend master.

In that case, lead him to the altar.

Tell him to bend his left knee, put his right hand on the Bible, and place this compass in his left hand.

Let its tip touch his heart.

Order, my brethren!

I swear by the Highest God, constructor of the whole world, on my honour and salvation, that I shall keep the secrecy of Masonry with the utmost diligence.

As a proof of my oath I kiss the words of my saviour.

Brother Consecrator, bring closer the blood goblet.

In the name of the highest constructor of the world...

In the name of the most serious lodge of freemasons...

I hereby accept you as Entered Apprentice.

Rise!

What do you demand? Light!

Most reverend Warden, grant the newly accepted the great light.

Here is your simple apron.

But monarchs, dukes and others have been seen wearing such apprentice aprons.

Apprentices like you use this gesture.

We also have a gesture of help, expressed like this:

'Come to me, children of the widow!'

Come to me, children of the widow!

By becoming brothers, we are tied with a knot of brotherly friendship.

We offer one another constant mutual support.

One for all, all for one.

Thus we are enslaved to care for the fate of each of our brethren.

We provide them with help in every need.

We never forget about the ties that bind us.

What time is it? High noon, Your Excellence!

Let them bring in the layperson!

LODGE OF A LAYPERSON

Who are you, woman?

My name is Helena de With.

Do you ask to be accepted as a Mason? Yes.

Let them give Madame de With the first ray of light.

Let the whiteness of this apron teach you how innocent your soul should be, how pure your morals should be.

Please, let me give you a kiss of peace.

You shall give it back to our brethren, just like the word 'Feix', a sign, and a touch.

Feix...

She should be happy to open her temple of a sister that shall embellish her...


TEMPTATION


'What are you, the one who called me his wife?

Whenever I look at the waves of the sea, the views of the Earth, the clouds in the sky, I can see his look.

For his happiness, I would allow them to take away my hand without any regret.

You are horrendous and loathsome in your wisdom and kindness.

With a smile of virtue on your lips, and search for truth on the Earth, wrinkles on your forehead.

What are you, the one who called me his wife.'

The lady who was worthy of these flowers is gone, my brother...

They blossom for her, extolling her...

My spirit has known...

You, that has spurned me and left, that crushed my head, and heart, and soul...

Your sin is absolved, whether you are alive or dead.

MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS


Do you recognize me, my friend Krzyś?

Rafał... Olbromski.

Rafał! What brings you here?

Do you want to help me in my misery?

What are you doing here, by God?!

I am in utter poverty.

What are you talking about, Rafuś?!

Are you returning to Warsaw?

God forbid.

Home? Don't ask me about it.

Why are you dressed like that? Don't ask.

Where is this army headed?

They are the crushed Austrians.

The French have won the great battle of Austerlitz.

They say Napoleon would be willing to take care of the Polish issue.

And where are you coming back from?

From Vienna. You will come with me, won't you?

With all my soul and heart...

But bear in mind... Everything is considered.

In Vienna, I was vying for the office of a chamberlain.

My papa's wish. I had to do it for him.

He has forgiven me for so many things.

I'm bringing him the Austrian title he cared so much for.


Tell me...

What month is it?

November.

It is November already.

Young master...

At last!

What joy!

You, my dear, will witness scenes of family tenderness.

Mery! Krzyś!

Have you brought it? But of course, flibbertigibbet.

Meet our cousin, Rafał.

A cousin? You are to honour him, respect him, and love, comme de raison.

He is a representative of Warsaw's high society, who will judge your coiffures.

I warn you, if you say nothing interesting, you will not get Waluś's cakes.

I will tell you everything, just give me a lot of Waluś's cakes.

Thank you.

Papa!

This is my cousin and friend from Warsaw, Rafał Olbromski, in person.

Welcome!

I had to bring him here by force.

Warsaw, you say...

But you were supposed to go to Vienna.

I was in Vienna, but I admit I spent the spring in Warsaw.

Silly!

He went by the longest possible route!

But I am twice as happy, Mr Rafał.

I remember your father from...

My father mentioned that.

Rafał was returning from the waters.

He stayed there, searching for... Shall I reveal it?

But he hasn't chosen anything.

Ladies from Germany, Bohemia, Hungary...

That is not his cup of tea.

Waluś, for God's sake!

I beg of you: groats with pork scratchings!

I thought you would lose your carter's taste in Vienna.

Oh, Germans! A nation of philosophers and poor cooks!

Tear away my count's heart in return for some pork fat!

Count, you say?

From now on, don't you address me in any other way as the most honourable count.

Young lady - countess.

Since you are a countess thanks to me, Mery, sing something for the cousin.


Hush!

Leave it!


Let us die now.

It would be like now, only forever, without change.

As if we were asleep, never to wake up again.

And if not? If there is nothing there?

SATAN'S POWER This is the end, a boundary.


END OF PART ONE


THE ASHES

PART TWO

Mery, Mery... Maryśka!

A beggar!

I'll give him some money.

This man doesn't want money.

He asks if we are Germans, and if anyone in the house has served in the army.

Go home, Mery.


If you wish, send away the servants, so they don't see that I benefit from your hospitality.

A FAR AWAY WAR it could harm you, and me as well.

Rest assured you are as safe as houses under this roof.

It's been twelve years since they made me wear an Austrian uniform.

Told me to march to foreign countries, to beat the French and defend the Pope.

I was confused when they said who counted on our bravery.

Be it Charles of Sardinia, Prince of Parma or Hercules of Modena.

I trod many paths with my comrades to protect these people.

In the second war, we went down from the mountains into the fields, at the Adige river.

French divisions descended upon us.

What turmoil that was!

We could see a battalion marching as the advance guard, unlike any other: every single man, shoulder to shoulder...

I looked at them with bloodshot eyes, letting go of my rifle, and feeling my hair stand up...

Why, those were our uniforms and banners.

Without a word, I started to sob at the back of the line.

A moment later I was slashing at the white ones with that Austrian rifle of mine, together with my brothers.

This is how I joined the legions.

We imagined ourselves in the Krakow's market square, and in horror-stricken Vienna...

What happened later?

Trouble.

The government of directors did not want to hear about us.

They took away the name of Polish legions, withheld pay, and under the threat of cannons forced us to board frigates in Livorno.

Where to? The Antilles.

Tell us something about it.

Here, in the countryside, we know little of the world.

Oh, island! You seemed a paradise when seen from afar.

But we quickly came to our senses.

They sent us there to suppress negro rebellions.

The first consul Bonaparte ordered that slavery be restored in Santo Domingo.

This war was new to us.

One day, this happened...

There served with us four hundred negroes, whom we suspected of betrayal.

What were we to do with them?

Our only battalion, that of Mr Bolesta, could not control so many armed negroes.

If we had freed them, they would have joined enemy ranks.

If we had kept them, they would have betrayed us.

General Fressinet, our new commander, a native French, told the negroes to assemble, as every day.

Military tradition requires soldiers to assemble without arms.

The negroes suspected nothing.


Within less than half an hour...

not even one was left alive.

Be silent!

Was that why you went there?!

War is war. God is our judge, not you, sir.

From our three thousand seven hundred men only three hundred survived!

And only a dozen of officers.

When I returned, I drafted again.

They had announced a new campaign, so we marched once again.

My heart started beating faster, and my thoughts turned to Vienna.

Austerlitz!

We won a great battle there.

The Austrian empire was crushed...

But I was not meant to enter my land.

I was forced to kneel down at its doorstep.

My leg was shattered and cut off.

Your legs were not worthy of entering this land!

God probably punishes deeds like yours!

Revenge is mine, says the Lord.

To crush free peoples at an usurper's beck? Usurper?!

Look! This usurper now rules Vienna, Berlin...

And he is approaching Poznań land, the Mazovia, Warsaw!

For twelve years we shed blood in far away lands, waiting for this moment!

Although I have crossed the whole world, I won't join them.

But before sand covers my eyes, I will find out the rest.

Long live the Emperor.

Rafał...

I know...


Little sister, when we have ridden out a bit, inform papa and tell him I am sorry.

Do it nicely, please.

Tell him I know I've treated him horribly, but I can't act otherwise.

Will you tell him? Oh, Krzyś!

Take care of yourselves. It is so cold...

Will you write to me, sir?

I will.

Please do, because Krzyś will surely forget.

This is the address of my friend, Lady Ołowska, chamberlain's wife.

She lives close to the border.

She will help you cross to the other side.

Goodbye, Mery.

Krzyś! Papa!

I will call the farmhands! I will restrain you, lock you up!


For instigating the subjects of his imperial majesty, and for resisting the authorities, you shall be hanged.

Hangman! Do your work.

Accept words of consolation from our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Long live the Emperor!

You are free, people!

The emperor said so!

Long live the emp...


Look, it's the border already.

How close...

Music? Maybe it's someone's name day?

Why name day exactly? I don't know. No reason.

Do you know Lady Chamberlain Ołowska?

I've never seen her, but they say she is beautiful.

Well... we'll see about that.

NIGHT AND MORNING


Jesus!

I have thought it a hundred times!

What have you thought? The same.


I am glad to welcome you, gentlemen.

It is painful to see so many soldiers in the village.

A soldier sees a soldier.

They burn fires at night, their shouting prevents us from sleeping.

Doesn't it dissuade you from this risky undertaking?

Not at all.

Very noble indeed. I admire your valour.

Lady chamberlain...

I warn you: if you are caught, you will get the rope.

You are kindly very open with us, madam.

If our crossing is to cause you any sort of trouble...

I like overcoming obstacles. Otherwise life would be frightfully dull.

Here is the plan.

During the ball you will dance: often and cheerfully.

But at night you will have to leave without hesitation.

We feel as if we were on the other side already.

So for us war will start at night!

Do you abandon one emperor for another without the slightest remorse?

I only adore one emperor.

Long live the emperor!

I've heard about your success from my husband who knows how all the tailcoats rustle and the doors creak in Vienna.

He personally has not accepted Napoleon as an emperor, so maybe it is good he stayed in Vienna a while longer.

Has your companion lured you into the field of glory?

It seems we were both touched by the same spark.

Behind the river, the whole country is mounting horses.

So I've heard.

Are you always first when it comes to mounting horses, sir?

I should think that I was and I am made for the saddle.

Here comes Mr Kalwicki, our beloved protector.

These are two traitors who wish to cross the border...

No names, please!

If tortured, I will not give them up!

Hold your tongue, sir, or I'll cut it off myself!

You are careless, but it smells of the thickest rope...

We could get ourselves into such a pickle that we not only lose our feet, but whole legs.

I do not pity your legs, especially in these boots.

What was I going to say...

I'm looking for the mark of my riding whip.

I shudder at the thought of the master's return...

Welcome, lieutenant! If you please...

This way, please.

Come this way.

Lieutenant Schlieffen, commander of the Austrians in the village.

He seems quite bright, the scoundrel.

Which of you is better at drinking vodka?

My colleague.

So even though you are so puny, you are quite a soak!

We shall see about that!

Do you dance 'les Lanciers'? I do.

Do you dance well? Yes.

I ask if you dance very well. I think so.

Then ask me to dance with you.


Princess... I am not a princess anymore.

Those days are gone.

But you did recognize me. I couldn't forget, that's all.

I would rather die here, that in the morning at the river.

I shouldn't have... What, princess?

I shouldn't have allowed you to stay in this house for one minute.

Why is that?

You were only a child.

How I wanted to kill you then.

And if you could now? It has passed.

Now I could also lunge at you.

Keep quiet. They are looking at us.

I will start speaking loudly.

You haven't changed at all. What about me?

You are even more beautiful now.

I beg you...

For what? Give me one moment with you.

Will you not come back? No.

Never?

I can let them shoot me at the border in the morning.

Go to the room I welcomed you in. You will see an open door in the enfilade.

Wait.


I really admire you at this ball.

And you are a first-rate dancer. You think so?

Trust me, you should have joined the ballet!

You wouldn't have to wander around.

You are being mean, Mr Cedro. But not for long.

I'm afraid you will die in the morning.

Go to the next room and make a will, according to Austrian procedure.

I will bequeath to you the tailcoat in which you cavorted around so keenly.

Stockings and bootees too!

How pathetic a man whose mind is ridden with jealousy is...

Jealous about you?!


I have complied with all your wishes.

Yes.

Goodbye.


Freund? Oh, yes, indeed.


You have clearly found a more pleasant job than sneaking through the border.

Let it go.

Where have you been for so long?!

At the ball.

We will all die because of your whims.

Don't you worry.

No disaster can befall a wicked person!

If you want, we can go in broad daylight.

You are bragging, and I would get my hide tanned!

The officer is now a senseless drunk, the horses are waiting, the sun is rising... if I were your father, I'd show you!

God was merciful...

To hell with you both!

I'm old, I have a family. Why should I lose it all?

I'm not going, as God is my witness!

I'm not going!


Thank God we have made it!

Are we jumping off?

It's here! Jump!

Let God be with you, boys!

You are late, gentlemen.

It's daylight already!

Rafał!


Jump after me!

Come on!

I killed him! It's all my fault.

I wished to go to war, and he's the one who died.

Because of me.


You know what?

You are prime material for a soldier!

You laggards!

You are only fit for the gallows!

Come on, shoot!

I dare you to hit me!

Fiends!

Krauts! Breeches!

Austrians!

I will get you, lame dogs, you!

Long live the emperor!

What are we going to do now? Take off your boots and pour out the water!

Bunglers! Slaves!

Long live the emperor!

Come on!

We have to find that fisherman's hut.


Is your husband a ferryman on the Vistula?

I don't know. Maybe so...

He shipped us, so we know.

Who would know? He is a fisherman.

I know nothing else.

The one that took us asked us to give his woman the fee, and tell her that he would be back in the evening.

So...

Are you his wife or not?

I am.

So grab this, and mind, it's a handful...

It's gold.

God bless you...

...your lordship.

What are you doing, you madman?!

What are you doing?!

How are you going to pay for your horse, uniform, saddle?

Take this money and put it away, you hear me?

Give her 5 ducats, she'll be rich anyway!

I command you, you hear me?!

Don't touch me!


You are still crying. I told you to leave me alone.

You want to cry, go separately, or people will think that I'm dragging you to the army...

How are you going to buy your officer's equipment?!

Do you know how much that costs?!

I will start my service as a simple soldier.

Are you mad?

I can't do anything anyway!

If you can't do anything, that's a different story.

You know what? Let me be!

For good? For good!

Wolves will eat you in this forest, my boy!

No need to worry about me!

As you wish...

Good luck, mummy's boy!

ON THE BANKS OF THE RAWKA RIVER


To the left!

Head!

Cheek! Leg!

Aren't we dressed up?!

Olbromski! Let's drink to you!

Hello, Rafał!

Long time no seen, child of the widow!

You are just a lieutenant?

Yes.

What do you reckon? Where are our regiments now?

Probably in Vienna.

You are not the duke's adjutant?

No. A common soldier.

Are we winning or losing? That's a question for the adjutants.

I'm not asking you, but these here gentlemen.

Have a drink with us and a snack of saffron milk cap.

Attention!

On the orders of the duke I kindly remind you that you are soldiers.

Lousy, but still...

Besides, this is not a May picnic.

But an April one!

Attention!

Are you the duke's adjutant? Yes, general.

Present your ammunition pouch.

What are these? Hazelnuts, general.

Help!

Save us from this stickler!

Father, king - help us!

Saviour!

Save us from Fischer!


Aim... fire!


Halt!

About-face!

Attack!

Look at that blue sky.

Halt!

Turn back! Beat the Austrians!

Turn back!

Wodebski, are you injured?

Only twice.

Follow me, brothers!


Go on!

Tell general Sokolnicki to retreat straight away.

Yes, sir.


Hold it!

Move forward!

Push it!


General!

General Sokolnicki! Duke's order - withdraw!


BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS A soldier is walking through woods and forests,

often starving...

They only respect the soldier

when they are seized by fear.

Pay him, oh Christ in heaven

because he is in grave need...


Lieutenant Krzysztof Cedro reports his arrival in Saragossa.

Well, well...

What are you doing among the infantry, slender-waisted cavalryman?

I was injured.

My regiment left for Madrid.

I was temporarily detailed to Saragossa.

You were a lieutenant in the light cavalry?

No, I was a simple soldier, then a sergeant...

Well, well... From a sergeant to a lieutenant?

Upon my word, the world is coming to an end!

At Sommosierra there were more cases like that.

Congratulations.

You have no idea about the infantry? Actually I do, captain.

Really? What exactly, my dear?

I can walk on my own two legs, just like anyone else.

Oh, really? We shall see about that...

Very soon!

There's a celebration in an hour, lieutenant. An assault.

You will walk with my light cavalrymen on these two legs of yours, and see for yourself if it's so easy being a foot soldier.

Understood? Yes, sir.

March off!

'And he said he had never read in any book of a knight-errant who had died in their bed, so calmly and Christian-like as Don Quixote,

who among sighs and tears of those that were present had given up the ghost, meaning he had died.'


Excuse my brusqueness.

Wyganowski.

I'm a tad tired of all of this. It's taking too long...

I used to fight in the Italian league, but I have never seen such a war.

I'm happy to serve under a good officer.

If I could help you with anything...

I don't need anything.

Just tell me what an 'Engracia' is.

It's the name of a gate, as well as a street.

Today we are going to take it.

You haven't seen many assaults in your career, have you?

Not many.

For our ultimatum Palafox replied 'Knife fight'.

We shall see during the assault.


Can I warm myself? It's nippy... it is night.

Nights are generally chilly here.

Are you serving under captain Wyganowski? Why do you ask?

Just like that. We are going to take Saragossa together.

'Take', you hear him? It's a tough city, Mr light cavalryman.

We have failed many times there, and we will again.

If only we were sure this road headed our way...

Fairly spoken...

And where else could it lead? Only to Poland.

We are peasants.

It's all the same to us: digging out clay or stabbing with a bayonet.

They tell a peasant to live, they live. They tell them to die, they die.

But it would be much easier to die knowing this road led to the homeland.

Mr light cavalryman...

We are free soldiers now, fighting for the emperor.

But once the war ends, and we get a lashing from our lords, who will defend us? Who will acknowledge our achievements?

You will no longer get lashings from your lords.

Once a peasant, always a peasant.

Even if they walk around the globe, every road leads to the same work for someone else.

Every road except this one. Why not this one?

Because this is a just road.

After this war there will no longer be any lords and peasants, only Poles.

All equal, like brothers.

You will see.

Who will do that?

The emperor!

Someone told you that? I just know he will do it.

Together with us!

And if not?

Wouldn't it be beautiful... Being like brothers...

God willing...

SIEMPRE EROICA


There will be locusts and vermin...

They are harbingers of death!


Don't touch me! My skin is burning!

Attack!

Move forward!

Move forward, boys!

We are outnumbered.

Forward! To the barricade!

All together now!


God!

We have women! Come here!

Gentlemen, please! We are just elderly ladies.

Let us be, I beg you.

Old bags, out!

God, no!

God, no! Go away, you scoundrel!

No, never Let me go! Oh my God!

No!

Come on!

You are free, madam.

Give me the knife.

Quickly!

Help me!

Boys!

Light cavalryman!

Take her legs!

Leave me!

No! Help me!

I implore you, brother! Let her go!

Get off my back! I'm telling you to let her go!

You clown...

You've had plenty of time. It's my turn now!

Krzos! Take the lordling away!

Why you...

I've saved you from a disgraceful death.

And you don't want to give me that girl?! I've asked you!

If I have at least one comrade in the regiment, you are not going to see tomorrow's light.

We better go now. Let's go.

Well, boys...

Either sudden death or great glory awaits us!

There are plenty of Spaniards behind that door.

You will go separately, rider.

I gather we'll be right in the middle, between two barricades...

They are coming after us.

When they see this mess, how we treated their aunts and hurt their cousins...

Light cavalryman, to the middle! Let me be. I'm going separately.

Get into the middle, I'm ordering you!

I'm the commander now!

Prepare for the attack!

March!

Long live the emperor!


Aim... fire!

Left turn!

March!


Halt!

Right turn!

Prepare arms!

Load arms!

To the ramrod!

Push!

Ramrod out! Shoulder arms!

Aim... fire!

Disperse!


You stand out.

Those honourable red stains on your trousers... Well done.

Yes, I have killed many today.

Good job, young man. I even clubbed one to death.

That's what war is for.

So that everyone can murder to their heart's content.

You deserve a reward. Do you want one of these nuns?

Maidens of Jerusalem, the whole bouquet.

Just one small nuisance, though. There are no blondes...

Not a single one...

I'm not going to stay here. Could it be?

I would like to get some sleep. Sleep through such a celebration?!

I haven't slept for some time.

They have cells here.

You could use one, if they weren't occupied at the moment.

Little nuns are having soldiers for guests.

If it only depended on me...

Speak your mind, young man... Go ahead.

I can assure you that mass rape quickens capitulation far better than bombs.

Besides, what do you want?

I prefer my peasants to be in these cells than at the mercy of case-shots, or killing without reason.

Come! I have a special treat for you here.

They assaulted her in a group of five or six.

They lunged at her, tearing her gown off.

To their surprise they found a sudden obstacle there.

Everything was overcome, apart from that small detail.

Just like Saragossa: already taken, captured...

'We will take advantage of you, slave woman', and they end up with a corpse.

No matter how hard you yank it...

I would order armies to parade in front of you... if I guess correctly, the captain does not possess the unpleasant hardness of Scipio Africanus...

I possess nothing of this Scipio!

I am ash and dust.

Look!

What is it?

Resignation.

I can't stand this service! It has ruined me!

I didn't join the army to burn Spanish peasants alive!

My heart goes out to them!

That's wrong.

This war will never end.

As a soldier, I know which war can end and when.

We can't beat them, because they are right.

We could argue they are not right at all.

What are they defending?

Monastic goods? The inquisition?

Feudal lords?

Ignorant masses.

Which of us would fight for the successor of the throne?

And what are you fighting for? For my country!

But has our blood shed at the gates of Saragossa supported our cause in any way?

Emperor Napoleon needs his armies for himself, not for us.

He abandons defenceless Poland to the mercy of Archduke Ferdinand, while we die in the fields of Castile and Tarragona.

So there's war there as well? Indeed.

The Austrians are marching towards Warsaw.

But there I will at least know what I am fighting for.

I want to return. Come with me to our country.

Can I lie here? Lie down and sleep, you bugger.

Wait! I will accompany you.

I am the commander of this convent after all...

Wait here!

Traitor.

Captain!

A guide for staff.

How are you, Pedro? I'm very well, captain.

Let's go.

I need to deliver certain documents to the staff.

Take me there by the shortest possible route.

With pleasure, captain.


Lieutenant!

Keep quiet! Lieutenant!

What?!

It's a disaster.

They have killed our captain.

Who? Captain Wyganowski.

Who? When?

The Spanish guide.

We found the captain outside the city walls.

Go there quickly, lieutenant.

The soldiers refuse to take him from the field.

Why? I don't know. Some officer's business...


Captain...

Why do you pity him, officer?

He's a traitor, unworthy of the Polish uniform.

He asked for resignation, wanted to save his own skin.

He's a coward and a renegade.

Gentlemen! He's a soldier!

Give him brotherly honours!

You give him honours! He's no longer a soldier.

Today we all go to the battle again, and he pleaded to be excused.

It's only fair that he rots in the scorching heat.


THE ROUTE OF THE EMPEROR


Can I take some oats for my horse?

Watch out, my friend. I feel something is fishy here.

Eat.


What about the child?

It's all right. You can feed them.

All right, Pole? All right.

Goodbye, my little friend.

There you go. Eat, little fellow...

Don't cry. Why are you crying?


A SOLDIER'S FATE

What's wrong with you?

Bartek...

They have poisoned you.


Draw sabres!

Charge!

Up and at 'em!

Attack!


A horse!


Pray tell me, sir, as I have completely forgotten...

What is that gorge's name? Samosierra.

Long live the emperor!

Long live the emperor!


PHANTOMS Long live the emperor!


Long live the emperor!

Sir!

Your name.

I left my father's house, hoping my land would be free.

Now on a foreign land...

What do you want?

Tell me it's not in vain, that it's all for my land.

Emperor!

Agreed.

Vive la Pologne!


SANDOMIERZ

I will not let anyone in!

You won't? That's right!

This is what we were searching for!

This is the lady's bed!

Even better. The lieutenant will be comfortable here.

I won't allow it! I have orders strictissime!

And I strictissime cancel that order.

I forbid it! Keep it down!

Don't shout next to an injured man.

The lieutenant needs rest. Understood?!

Compliments to your lady!


Don't get up, if you are comfortable.

The surgeon told me you'd been injured. Where?

My arm, general.

I'm asking about the battle.

I'll leave your tender wound to the surgeon.

In a skirmish, I mean... What do you mean?

During the patrol, general.

Name? Olbromski.

There was a Cadet Olbromski in the military school, and later an officer during the Republic.

My elder brother.

I see.

Aren't you asleep? No, general.

And you have no intention of dying? No, general.

Are you sure? Yes, I am.

Listen, knight.

You keep watch, and I'm going to sleep until dawn.

Until dawn, you understand?

As soon as it becomes light, you are to wake me up.

I will wake you, sir.

General?

What now?

Tomorrow there will be a battle. How revealing...

Please, let me stay with you.

In what capacity?

In the capacity of... Faster!

Adjutant à la suite.

I have no right for that.

I'm only Brigade-General, and you an injured officer.

When I become commander-in-chief, I will remember we slept in one bed.

I don't know where my regiment is. Let me stay with you until I find it.

All right...

Wake me up, and remain silent, if you please.

Go to hell...


It's time, general. So what?!

It's getting light, general. Go away, or I'll kill you.

General! I won't let you sleep a minute longer!

Are they charging? Indeed!

I'll be damned...

I will never get enough sleep...

In God's name, we commence...

You have kindly allowed me to stay with you, general.

What am I to do with you? Tell me.

As an adjutant.

It seems you think we've come to Sandomierz for a ball...

But you should now the Austrians are marching towards this gutter with a force of four to one.

There is a handful of us left, the rest is in Spain.

There will be carnage.

The fate of the country is to be decided.

Where is your regiment, hey? This I don't know.

Then you will find out and that's it.

But general... Do you speak German?

I do.

You will be my interpreter, in case we take prisoners.

Why are you walking around unbuttoned like a wet nurse?

Bandage. Let me see.

First regiment, isn't it?

Did you fight at Tczew? I did.

And at Gdańsk? I did, general.

Olbromski? You are similar to the other one.

He was a good officer, although a sentimentalist... and a cry baby.

Let's head our way!

Your highness... it was on the ground.

Rafał?

Olbromski?

So you too have joined the army? And you are also with us, duke.

Not quite. I'm not in Sandomierz to fight the Austrians.

You should understand me. I'm fulfilling an obligation.

I don't know if I can speak with you as I used to...

You treated me in a strange way...

You left without a word. My father called me.

Don't lie. Your father wrote to me, asking where you are.

We often recollected you with the master of the cathedral.

Is major de With somewhere around?

No.

Where is he? Before God.

The master of the cathedral has died.

Fighting against us?

And why is your highness in this battle?

I observe, as usual, the course of human things.

A strange aim when the country is in need. You think so?

I was in battle. You need to go there, confident of winning.

Who would go to see others die? You speak like a brutish soldier.

One can find a different place in the battle.

I don't understand! Because you were a lousy student: with a stiff neck and lust in your eyes.

Where are you coming from?

From General Sokolnicki.

With good news? Indeed.

Remember to respect Saint Jacob! What can I do?


Aren't you going to evacuate with us? Evacuate?

The Austrians will be here any minute now. Are you giving up the church?

When the Austrians come, we will bombard the church.

I will not allow it.

Stop!

Don't leave Saint Jacob! Stop, for the love of God!

Stop!


Aim... fire!


General! What?

Don't destroy the church, general! Who sent you to me?

No one. So?

Fire!

Attack that position, and you will recapture it.

Gather all your forces, general!

I have no forces left.

I will knock this hovel down upon the Austrians' heads.

Change your order, general! Take him away!

Soldiers!

Don't listen to that order!


Come to me, children of the widow!

Come to me, children of the widow!

Pull out the fuse and extinguish it.


Shoot him!

You have been demoted.


Michcik!

There! Gintułt!

Murder me faster, you churl. Hush, my lord.

Don't you dare speak.


We need to return home, to Tarniny, Michcik.

Our duke is dying.


CORNER ROOM

He will not recover.

Stabbed with a sabre? Bayonet.

We were escaping for three days and three nights, without a moment's rest.

Who were you fleeing, my good man?

The Austrians.

That's no dishonour.

And you are wearing an officer's uniform, I see.

Yes.

Are you an officer? Yes, father.

I'm happy that I lived to see my son in the Polish uniform, fighting for our country, like I used to do.

I was sent by the general, isolated from my regiment...

You mother has been called before God.

Zofka is with child, her husband joined Napoleon's army.


Austrians!


Chase them!

Otherwise they'll bring us God knows how many others!

Michcik!


Casper!

Go to the village, bring the peasants to help us!

Take Zofka with you!

Go on!


Couldn't you defend him, you bastard?!

I did, but the peasants did not come to our rescue.


HOME

Giddy up, little one!

Lieutenant!

I report that...

What do you report, you old Austrian?

I report that a visitor is coming.

Krzysztof!

What a splendid stallion, I'll be damned!

An Iberian.

Are you returning from there?

Yes. I needed a good horse for such an expedition.

Expedition? The great war.

Yes, I see...

How could we bear three years without war?

Seventy thousand of ours have set off.

Are you coming again?

At the end of June our 5th corps sets off to Moscow.

I know nothing. I hardly see any people.

That's why I stopped by.

I'm very...

I'm very glad.

As you can see, I'm building a house.

You are building a house.

Why not?!

I've taken the land, I need to get down to work.

I can't fool around forever.

Will you go to war?

If master...

He served in the Austrian army, against us.

I beg your pardon, lieutenant!

I deserted six times, received lashes three times, was dragged to court in fetters...

Still I couldn't get to our forces!

He joined us at Sandomierz.

Now he is mayor in my house.

How do you like it here? Not bad at all. It's a jolly place, but...

But what? But there's very little sand.

Little sand, you say...

A lot of stone, but not enough sand.

Yes...

Well, I must be off now.

You won't be staying at my place?

I've already strayed from my road too much.

Farewell, Rafał.

Farewell.

One more thing.

I've heard about your case.

You probably don't know it was dismissed.

I've personally checked it.

It's all the same to me now.

As you can see, I'm more of a peasant than a soldier.


THE WORD OF HONOUR


Long live the emperor!


Long live the emperor!


Also starring:

Art direction:

Costumes:

Armies, convoys, carriages and mass scenes, projects and implementation:

Cooperation:

Sound: Cooperation:

Film made by P.P.Z.Z.R.F. 'Rytm' Group Artistic director, literary director, production manager Production management:

Music:

Screenplay:

Cinematography:

Directed by:

Studio: laboratory:

Distribution:

Digital reconstruction of the film Production:

Producers:

Patron of digitalization Co-financing of digital reconstruction POLISH FILM INSTITUTE Artistic supervision: Executive producer:

Tekst: Anna Snarska Roboto Translation Subtitle: EJSAK Company