An NYFF mainstay throughout the 1970s and ‘80s (during which time he presented eight feature films at the festival), Krzystof Zanussi reached a new artistic peak with this enormously moving wartime romance, which won the Golden Lion for Best Film at the 1986 Venice Film Festival. In Cold Blood and The Walking Dead’s Scott Wilson stars as Norman, an American GI who arrives in a formerly German-occupied part of Poland after the end of WWII to investigate Nazi war crimes. There, he meets Emilia (Maja Komorowska), a war widow living with her dying mother, and although they speak scarcely a word of the same language, falls quickly, passionately in love. Brilliantly acted by Wilson and Komorowska, beautifully shot by Oscar-nominee Slawomir Idziak (Black Hawk Down) and with an original score by Wojciech Kilar (The Pianist), A Year of the Quiet Sun is a timeless story of love’s ability to transcend all personal and cultural barriers.
“A hauntingly beautiful film in which the protagonists don’t speak a common language, but communicate through gestures, facial expressions, and laughter.” —NYFF23 program note
“****. This is a small, quiet film of enormous power. It is not generated by any genre, by any plot that we can anticipate; it is the particular story of the people in this time and place. It doesn't even make a statement, really. Given the fact of the war and its aftermath, Zanussi has no suggestions to make. He simply wants to tell the story of these people whose human needs persist.”
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times