This article examines the motifs of death and immortality in Polish film director and author Tadeusz Konwicki’s 1971 film Jak daleko stąd, jak blisko [How Far, How Near, 1971], and the 1979 novel Mała apokalipsa [A Minor Apocalypse]. In these works, Konwicki grapples with the idea of mortality—he both fixates on and does away with death. At the same time humorous and eerie visits from the other side undo death’s absolute power, even in those cases where it appears to have succeeded. While Konwicki’s earlier works had already began his foray into the topic, How Far, How Near marks a special moment in his oeuvre, one in which death becomes an unavoidable matter and yet its own opposite, eternal life. Furthermore, the release of How Far, How Near coincides with a political shift in Poland—Edward Gierek being installed as Party secretary with a consequent change in the metaphorical might of immortality in Polish political rhetoric. Konwicki’s “immortality” resides in the aesthetic realm during a period in which political rhetoric ceases to spare political leaders from death, How Far, How Near thus marks a new moment in Konwicki’s works, and it occurs during a new moment in Polish politics.

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