The candles lit by the Holy Spirit are snuffed
one by one, as if blown out
by the Lord’s rage, and the road is long, and the night is thick,
and so far to go before the dawn.
(From the notes of Seweryn Goszczyński, written after Juliusz Słowacki’s death)
Dependence is death – the death of the homeland, the death of the national myth, the death of great ideals. The national bard and eulogist of the Polish cause, Juliusz Słowacki (Paweł Pogorzałek), senses the impending end and desperately tries to salvage his poetic legacy.
The message these words convey is brutally mocked and reduced to a foolish parody by another great figure of the national stage, Adam Mickiewicz (Maciej Charyton). Both ironic and firmly rooted in the biography of the bard, Radek Stępień’s play disarms the pomp of the Romantic legacy in its approach to Independence.
Słowacki: It’s funny, for a moment I really thought that Mickiewicz and Towiański would send me into the past and I would slay Ivan the Terrible. (…) For a second I believed it would work, that I would achieve something great… . That would have been something, it would have all been Poland. Just imagine… (From the program for the play by Radek Stępień and Konrad Hetel)
This play was selected from the Młodzi w Starym competition organized by the National Stary Theatre, in cooperation with the S. Wyspiański Theatre Academy in Krakow.