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A Generation (1955)

Pokolenie (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, War | 26 January 1955 (Poland)
Story of youths during the German occupation of Poland in the World War II who come to adulthood through love and adversity.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stach Mazur
Jasio Krone
Janusz Paluszkiewicz ...
Jacek (as Ryszard Kotas)
German Guard
Zygmunt Hobot ...
Cezary Julski ...
Bronislaw Kassowski ...
August Kowalczyk ...
Jerzy Krasowski ...


1942 in Nazi occupied Poland. Stach lives with his mother in a shanty town outside Warsaw. When he starts working as an apprentice in a small workshop in the nearby suburb, a middle-aged craftsman approaches him. The man is a secret Communist leader, known as Comrade Sekula. He introduces Stach to Dorota, a young political leader in the Organization of Youth Fighters. She tells Stach to form a small resistance group within the organization, and he involves his friends Jacek and Mundek. Without Stach knowing it, the small workshop is an important hub for another resistance movement, the Polish Underground Army. When Stach finds one of their hidden guns, he steals it. With the gun Jacek kills a Nazi officer. Their group is commissioned to support rebellious Jews in the Ghetto. During this mission Jacek is captured by the Nazis, and kills himself. Stach spends the night making love with Dorota. In the morning he goes out to buy some bread for them. When he returns, he sees Dorota being ... Written by Maths Jesperson {maths.jesperson1@comhem.se}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 January 1955 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

A Generation  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Acclaimed British director Lindsay Anderson considered it his favorite film. See more »


Referenced in Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

excellent but not quite as good as KANAL
26 February 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This was director Andrzej Wajda's first full-length film--and because of that, this stands as an amazing achievement. On the Criterion disk is an interview with Wajda and he credits much of the film's success to the cameraman and I agree wholeheartedly that this is one of the best looking black and white films I have ever seen.

The film concerns a young man during the Nazi occupation of Poland. In the beginning, he's a bit of a jerk but eventually gets a job and shows great responsibility. Later, he is welcomed into the partisans and it is an interesting look into this seldom talked about period of history.

The film gets a score of 8. It would have had a higher score had the film been more honest--as it portrays the Communists as being THE resistance and those partisans wanting a return to the democratic system as being greedy bourgeoisie. However, on the Criterion DVD, Wajda talks about how this was one of the required changes the Soviet-dominated Polish government mandated before they'd allow his film to be shown. So, considering the sensibilities of the time, it's not surprising that a little misrepresentation occurs. Still, it's a near-great film and a wonderful addition to KANAL. Wajda's 3rd film, ASHES AND DIAMONDS, unfortunately is a big disappointment to me and is considered the third in this trilogy about life in Poland during WWII.

There is one MINOR mistake in the film. At one point, the hero is hit in the head and is bleeding. Later in the same scene, there is no head wound!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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