The Tribulations of Balthazar Kober

The Tribulations of Balthazar Kober (Polish: Niezwykła podróż Baltazara Kobera) is a 1988 Polish film directed by Wojciech Jerzy Has, starring Rafal Wieczynski, Michael Lonsdale, Adrianna Biedrzyńska, Gabriela Kownacka, Emmanuelle Riva. The film is an adaptation of a novel by Frédérick Tristan that follows a young man as he travels across plague-stricken Germany of the 16th Century.

The Tribulations of Balthazar Kober
The Tribulations of Balthazar Kober.jpg
Directed byWojciech Jerzy Has
Screenplay byWojciech Jerzy Has
Based onThe Tribulations of Balthazar Kober
by Frédérick Tristan
StarringRafal Wieczynski
Michael Lonsdale
Adrianna Biedrzyńska
Gabriela Kownacka
Emmanuelle Riva
Music byZdzislaw Szostak
CinematographyGrzegorz Kedzierski
Edited byWanda Zeman
Distributed byPP Film Polski
Release date
  • 26 December 1988 (1988-12-26)
Running time
115 minutes


Young alchemy student Balthazar (Rafal Wieczynski) and his master (Michael Lonsdale) are forced to flee their home by the inquisition. They set off on a journey across a plague-stricken Germany, encountering various people including corrupt priests and Kabbalists, not to mention ghosts and even an angel, before ending up in Venice where Balthazar falls in love with a young actress.[1]

The film is Has's final film, and marks a return to the picaresque, extravagant style of The Saragossa Manuscript and The Hourglass Sanatorium to which it can be seen as a part of a trilogy.[2][3]



Released on December 26, 1988, the film was entered into the 1988 Polish Film Festival, where Janusz Rosól won the award for Best Sound. It was also nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival the same year, but did not win.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Tribulations of Balthazar Kober - Journey to the land of the dead
  2. ^ The Tribulations of Balthazar Kober
  3. ^ Richardson, Michael Surrealism and Cinema, p.169, 2006, Berg

External linksEdit