At the turn of the century, Lodz, Poland was a quick-paced manufacturing center for textiles, replete with cutthroat industrialists and unsafe working conditions. Three young friends, a ... See full summary »
In 1976, a young woman in Krakow is making her diploma film, looking behind the scenes at the life of a 1950s bricklayer, Birkut, who was briefly a proletariat hero, at how that heroism was... See full summary »
A worker becomes a "man of iron" forged by experience, a son comes to terms with his father, a couple fall in love, a reporter searches for courage, and a nation undergoes historic change. ... See full summary »
Two sketches covering episodes from the World War II. In the first novel, "Scherzo alla polacca", a shrewd son, trying to preserve his skin, ultimately becomes a hero and finds a reason for... See full summary »
A young doctor is tired of being sought by women. One night he meets a young girl who all but forces herself into his room where they talk of morals and love. But he loses her when he goes ... See full summary »
Set at the turn of the century, the story concerns a Polish poet living in Cracow who has decided to marry a peasant girl. The wedding is attended by a heterogenous group of people from all... See full summary »
Maciek, a young Resistance fighter, is ordered to kill Szczuka, a Communist district leader, on the last day of World War II. Though killing has been easy for him in the past, Szczuka was a fellow soldier, and Maciek must decide whether to follow his orders.Written by
Kevin Dorner <email@example.com>
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #285. See more »
Majek is shot in the back while running away from military, but in the following scenes his wounds are only in his chest and not in his back. See more »
So often, are you as a blazing torch with flames/ of burning rags falling about you flaming, /you know not if flames bring freedom or death. /Consuming all that you must cherish /if ashes only will be left, and want Chaos and tempest...
...Or will the ashes hold the glory of a starlike diamond... /The Morning Star of everlasting triumph.
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"Ashes and Diamonds" (Polish, 1958): And, this is the third of Wajda's trilogy about WWII in Poland, or perhaps better stated, inside the Polish people. This one is set on the last night of the war, and the following first day of official peace & freedom from German domination. As with both of the other films, nothing is as simple as it might first appear to us, or to the story's characters. Although it might not be "necessary" to view this trilogy three nights in a row (as I did), they SHOULD be seen in sequence. The writer and director chose exceptionally interesting and symbolic moments in time to place these stages. Note: NONE are upbeat, optimistic considerations of what war creates, except perhaps Wajda's inclination that the Poles do what they MUST for the greater good, even when it is for their individual worst.
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