Sopot

Wardrobe

Here’s a peculiar Sopot monument. The wardrobe isn’t kind of clever name for an abstract statue – this is actually a large wooden wardrobe, standing about two metres by two metres with two doors and a mirror. But this is no ordinary wardrobe however, but rather the star of one of director Roman Polański’s first works – the short film ‘Two Men and a Wardrobe’. Made while Polanski was still a student at the Łódź Film School in 1958, the 15 minute film was shot in Sopot and Gdańsk and tells the story of two men who appear from the sea carrying the wardrobe and then proceed to carry around the city including one scene where they are beaten up by a gang of young men, one of whom is played by Polański himself.

It was originally unveiled in 2008 by the director and stood rather randomly on the beach near the Sheraton. Created by sculptor Paweł Althamer, the poor old wardrobe didn’t fare very well and within two years was a wreck. It’s future divided local residents, some of whom loved it for what it represented while others urged the city to remove the ‘scary’ piece of junk forever.

The nearby National Art Gallery decided to undertake its restoration and it returned to the beach in 2013 where it now stands on proper foundations outside Zatoka Sztuki.

The film in which it stars is well worth a look if not to see the early work of the man who has been nominated for five Academy Awards (winning once for the Pianist) but also for the music of Polish jazz legend Krzysztof Komeda. Those interested in how the city looked a little over a decade after the end of WWII will find some of the shots of Gdańsk old town fascinating as well.

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