A one-time physics scholar, Polish-born Krzysztof Zanussi began making amateur movies in the late '50s, after chancing to take a film course at the University of Warsaw. He graduated the Lodz film school with Death of a Provincial (1966), which won an award at the Venice Film Festival. He emerged as a director/screenwriter in the late '60s and early '70s, primarily working for Polish television, until the '80s, when his association with the Solidarity movement forced him into exile in West German and Swiss productions. One of his films, The Catamount Killing (1974), was shot in English, and his work since the mid-'80s has seen wider international financing and distribution. Zanussi's work is defined by its devotion to ideas at the expense of emotionalism, and intellectualism without overt passions, which did not prevent his fall from grace with the government during Solidarity's temporary defeat in the mid-'80s.