A naïve and sincere young man, Witold, must come to terms with the reality of the world. He dreams of climbing the Himalayas, just as his father had done before him. His skill in mathematics earns him a job in an international trade company, but he soon finds the position grating and his progress thwarted by his own candor. Frustrations mount and personal losses grow as Witold becomes disillusioned with the world’s false choices. “The chess-master precision of Zanussi’s narrative is closer, as film, to Bresson or Rohmer than it is to the passionate sprawls of Wajda or Kieślowski…every element in this spare, crystalline film is integrated into the whole.” —J. Hoberman. Jury Prize and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, 1980 Cannes Film Festival.