The Saragossa Manuscript (Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie) is a classic Polish film directed by Wojciech Has. The story is not straightforward and resembles a complicated tapestry. It begins with two men from opposing armies finding a book during the Napoleonic wars in Spain. The book describes the adventures of one of the soldier's ancestors, Alfonse Van Worden (Zbigniew Cybulski). We watch Van Worden's adventures and the people he meets tell him their stories. Like a nesting egg, the movie becomes a story in a story in a story. The stories interlink and overlap, each filling us in with details the others where not aware of.
The Saragossa Manuscript looks beautiful in black and white, its music is just as appealing and acts as a frame to this wonderful portrait. The theme of this film also adds to its richness as it combines the supernatural with great storytelling. It nearly resembles a horror with creepy ghosts and ghouls, but is also humorous and erotic. The buxom women in this film are beautiful and give it an alluring aura and invigorating energy. Albeit the story is sophisticated, many of the tales are about normal people and even resemble a romance at times. We are left to wonder if the supernatural events are actual or just tricks.
I think The Saragossa Manuscript is absolutely delightful. Running three hours in long, every minute is enjoyable and adds to the overall story. I consider it to be a one of the best Polish movies of all time and may even appeal to those who usually don't watch world cinema.