21th JULY, 19:00
Helios 4
25th JULY, 16:00
Helios 4


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Ashes and Diamonds

50 years of Polish Film School
Popiół i diament
dir. Andrzej Wajda / Poland 1958 / 97’
Film description

Zbigniew Cybulski (Maciek Chełmicki), Ewa Krzyżewska (Krystyna), Wacław Zastrzeżynski (Szczuka), Adam Pawlikowski (Andrzej), Bogumił Kobiela (Drewnowski), Jan Ciecierski (portier)

On the eve of peace, the local authorities gather in a hotel to celebrate the end of war, and among the guests is a communist, Szczuka. An underground organization sentenced him to death and he is to be executed by Maciek Chełmicki, a soldier of the Home Army. Maciek fails to kill him at the first attempt and therefore he also comes to the hotel and faces his victim. In the jubilant atmosphere, and especially after an encounter with the barmaid, Krystyna, he starts to doubt. Should one still kill, now that the war is over? But for a young man from the resistance movement, there is no alternative in the post-war reality.

The film received enthusiastic reactions both from the audiences and the critics. Stanisław Grochowiak wrote: Ashes and Diamondsby Andrzej Wajda is a work of a moralist and a philosopher. This is a masterpiece, where political positions serve to show ultimate truths. Zbigniew Cybulski played Maciek using a new type of acting, typical for James Dean and Marlon Brando. His clothes and sunglasses do not actually fit the actual image of a Home Army insurgent, but his performance is legendary. It is hard to imagine someone else playing Maciek Chełmicki, although Wajda seriously considered another actor - Tadeusz Janczar.

Beata Cyganek




July 2007
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