A mildly successful physician in his 60s (Zbigniew Zapasiewicz) is thrown into existential crisis when he discovers he has cancer. Krzysztof Zanussi directed this Polish feature from his own screenplay, and what makes it unusual is how gingerly he avoids kitsch: the “why me” melodrama, the sentimental “life is still good” theme, the awkward imposition of philosophy or religion on the protagonist’s pain. Instead the film focuses on the mundane details of the doctor’s life: his plain apartment, his unremarkable job, his unsatisfying conversations with a local priest, his difficult relationship with his workaholic ex-wife. Zanussi also notates the chaos, loneliness, and brief flashes of hope in contemporary Warsaw, where western Europe is a growing influence and the Catholic church is returning as an important institution. Krystyna Janda costars. 99 min.