zbigniew cybulski’s double farewell
Zbigniew cybulski. The Polish James Dean. The manufacturers of dark glasses will never be able to pay him for it. The most brilliant actor of his generation. A star who made many women around Europe decide to learn Polish. He was the lead in director Andrzej Wajda’s 1958 masterpiece Popiól I Diament (‘Dust and Diamonds’).
9th January, 1967. Wroclaw central train station. Zbigniev puts two cigarettes in his mouth and lights them. He offers one of them to the woman next to him. She’s the actress Marlene Dietrich. After smoking their cigarettes, they give each other two kisses. Or one. It’s been a long night. Or that’s what we want to imagine. Marlene gets onto the train. It isn’t like a farewell in films, where they go up to the window of the train to wave goodbye to their lovers. The whistle blows. The train starts moving. Zbigniew can’t resist the temptation. He’s liked getting onto trains in movement since he was young. He jumps. He slips on one of the steps up to the carriage and falls under the train’s wheels. No waving on that second farewell.