Interior. Antoni and Orsola’s Apartment, 1987 – dusk.
Antoni, 70, disheveled, wearing a house coat and slippers, jolts awake in a easy chair. A riot is in progress on the street below his window. He hears sounds of a riot, shouting, police sirens, but they are intermingled with the fading sounds of the bombing from his dream. Antoni lifts himself out of the chair and walks to the window. He sees members of the Polish Trade Union holding protest signs that read “Remember Gdansk” and shouting “Free Trade Now.” He watches chaos unfold as the Security Services brutally attack the protestors with clubs. We see a deep concern on Antoni’s face. The past is returning.
Cut to: Interior. Hospital Waiting Room – Day. Antoni is now formally dressed, well-groomed- a complete 180 from the man in the easy chair. He has an air of order and formality, but one touched by friendliness. Orsola is a birdlike girl of 16, wearing a school uniform, a drab brown smock (reminiscent of Wojciech’s) but Orsola is wearing a “Dezerter” shirt over hers. She has the betweenstages fragility of a child, but with a weary, thoroughly adult expression. Her face is dominated by the dark crescents of circles beneath her eyes, and she clutches herself as she walks, as if chilled. Orsola and Antoni linger at the sliding glass doors at the entrance. A skinny cat has deposited a gigantic rat on the worn rubber doormat. The animal weaves around Antoni’s legs, seeking approval. Antoni bends to stroke and praise it.
Antoni: Your prey is almost as big as you are. Gratjulce!
Orsola: You act like he understands you.
Antoni: But he does. You underestimate animals, Orsola. They understand more than you know.