Culture shocks: Wajda's credit appears over New York; Gielgud's lips move and a disembodied Pole speaks his lines. Such incongruities are never quite integrated within this parable about a prodigal elder's attempted return to the fold. Gielgud is the eponymous international maestro whose encounter with a young violinist stirs memories of a provincial Polish debut - and an old debt - prompting him to celebrate his jubilee with his long-abandoned ain folk. His reception incorporates simmering jealousies and personality clashes (and Wajda's sly digs at the star system of socialist culture), but the film only really lives in fits and starts.
Cast and crew