Wiktor Ruben, who manages a farm connected to a school for blind girls, has just lost his "friend," Jurek. Standing over the gravesite of a man whom Wiktor describes as "ordinary" (but whom the priest later reveals as a poet), he falls to the ground, temporarily fainting. The doctor suggests Wiktor take a few weeks off, returning to a popular summer spot where he has, before the war, regularly visited, and where Wiktor's aunt and uncle have a farm.
Los Angeles, Valentine's Day, 2009
*I should note that nothing in Iwaszkiewicz's original story, nor in Kaminski's script, for that matter, says anything specific about Wiktor's sexuality. Jurek is simply described as his "only close friend." The key passage in Iwaszkiewicz's story begins with Wiktor telling the local doctor of his relationship with Jurek: "He couldn't sleep at night, he felt very nervous and he couldn't work at all. And he couldn't stop thinking about his friend who had died of consumption two months earlier. He told his story casually, but he couldn't talk about Jurek without emotion. Jurek was the only close friend he ever had. He was a seminarist, the nephew of the camp's Mother Superior, not an unusual person, but Christian, quiet and good."