The View from a Cathedral

HD, 53 min. 2018

An outstanding philosopher and his, expelled from Poland in 1968, beloved Mentor.

A charismatic philosopher professor Marek J. Siemek (1942-2011),  who “conversed” with Kant, Hegel, Schiller and Fichte, fights to protect and carry on university legacy of his beloved Master Prof. Bronisław Baczko (1924-2016).  This struggle, according to some, contributed to Siemek’s death.


Prof. Marek Siemek, a recipient an honorary doctorate from the University of Bonn, was considered one of the most insightful specialists in German Transcendental Idealism and was widely revered in European academic circles. He was also an important player in creating the theoretical base for the 2004 expansion of the European Union.

The 1968 anti-democratic and anti-Semitic campaign caused huge trauma which weighted heavy on Siemek’s heart. The documentary explores this emotion through memories of prof. Baczko, Siemek’s wife -Wirginia, his best friend prof. Piotr Lasota-Hirszowicz and several Polish and European philosophers.

The philosophical vistas of prof. Siemek are sketched out by his meetings with Fichte, Schiller, Hegel and Marx. Most of Siemek’s philosophical achievements sprung from his novel reading of Kant’s ethics.

Yet, none of the above achievements of philosophy shielded this brilliant mind against inner torment of consciousness and outer pressure of politics.

(with a previous title “Department of Historical Necessity”

VOD English version

VOD Polish version

supplementary materials

a Delos Films production


Stanisław Elsner-Załuski – Marek Siemek

Stephen Boden – Schiller
Uwe von Seltmann – Hegel
Leszek Krakowiak – Marx


Rainer Adolphi
Bronisław Baczko
Janusz Dobieszewski
Erich Fuchs
Wolfram Hogrebe
Christoph Horn
Andrzej Kaniowski
Jakub Kloc-Konkołowicz
Janusz Marchwiński
Andrzej Mencwel
Jacek Migasiński
Wiesław Milkiewicz
Jerzy Niecikowski
Pawel Pasieka
Marcin Poręba
Marco Ivaldo
Ludger Kunhard
Piotr Lasota-Hirszowicz
Ives Radrizzani
Wirginia Siemek
Michal Sobleman
Hartmut Traub
Teresa Tomaszewska
Lech Witkowski
Gottfried Willems
and others

Production Team:

producer/writer/director/editor – Paweł Kuczyński

camera – Jurgen Boley, Marcin Oczko, Paweł Kuczyński

music – Robert Jurjendal, Andrzej Dudek-Durer

post production supervisor/on line editor – Piotr Rejmer

color correction – Marian Tęcza

sound editors – Przemysław Jaworski

Supported by:

Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation

Author’s Society ZAiKS

Warsaw University

Orlen Deutchland

prof.  Bronisław Baczko

prof. Siemek encounters Friedrich Schiller    

and explores Las Meninas (after Velázquez)