Popiól i diament: On May 8, 1945, after the surrender of Nazi Germany, a Polish resistance fighter is given an order to assassinate a Communist official, after his first failed attempt at doing so. The third of Polish master Andrzej Wajda’s “War” trilogy.
Cleverly maneuvering political censorship, Wajda displays a portrait of a Poland that is left in ruins, using a plethora of techniques from both contemporary European and American cinema. The characters are introduced in the tumultuous days after World War II. Life in the small town setting, despite being changed forever, still goes on. Some celebrate the end of the war, others are nervous about the days ahead. The themes of young love, rebellion, religion and the rethinking one’s future are shown through the character of Maciek (Zbigniew Cybulski).
Cybulski is widely known as “the Polish James Dean”, due to his outstanding portrayal of nonconformist characters. His acting style and image made him one of the most popular personalities in the postwar period, both he and Wajda were heavily influenced by James Dean in the making of Ashes.
Cited by Martin Scorsese as one of his all-time favorite films. He is quoted as saying: “The images have stayed in my head for so many years, since the late ’50s. I close my eyes, I see them, especially from Ashes And Diamonds…they’re very vivid, expressive, immediate.”
Based on the novel by Jerzy Andrzejewski.
Ashes and Diamonds Cast: Zbigniew Cybulski, Waclaw Zastrzezynski, Adam Pawlikowski, Bogumil Kobiela, Waclaw Zastrzezynski, Ewa Krzyzewska