Essential Art House: Ashes and Diamonds

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  • The commanding, charismatic Zbigniew Cybulski (dubbed the Polish James Dean) explodes on screen as Maciek, a Polish soldier who on the last day of World War II is ordered to assassinate a Soviet leader who has arrived in town to establish a new government. Directed with stunning dexterity and inventiveness by the visionary Andrzej Wajda, Ashes and Diamonds was the ultimate film expression of Polan

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The commanding, charismatic Zbigniew Cybulski (dubbed the Polish James Dean) explodes on screen as Maciek, a Polish soldier who on the last day of World War II is ordered to assassinate a Soviet leader who has arrived in town to establish a new government. Directed with stunning dexterity and inventiveness by the visionary Andrzej Wajda, Ashes and Diamonds was the ultimate film expression of Poland’s postwar identity crisis and a vital work of a nation’s emerging cinema… More >>

Essential Art House: Ashes and Diamonds

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5 Comments
  1. Definitvely the craft of Wajda shows us over and over he is a real master.

    In this case Wajda a demolishing picture in which the burocracy , it is merciless beaten through the eyes of an apparent , minor shy and anodyne employer who literally will defy the system with all the consequences .

    This is real gem and historical portrait of Poland in the sixties .
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. I have never written a review before. I enjoy all kinds of film, especially the classics and have seen thousands. Of those, this film would be ranked in the top 10. Few films can I look back on and say “perfect”. This was one of them. I greatly enjoyed it, and would highly recommend it.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. “Ashes and Diamonds” (1958) is the third part of Andrzej Wajda’s “war trilogy” that also includes “A Generation” and “Kanal.” This film takes place in rural Poland at the end of World War II. With the Germans gone, but Russians throughout the country, the Polish resistance has a new target: Communists.

    Zbigniew Cybulski (also know for his leading role in “The Saragossa Manuscript”) plays the part of Maciek, a patriot who’s mission is to assassinate a mid-level Communist Party member. By chance, he meets a woman named Krystyna at the bar, which leads to a delay of his assignment.

    “Ashes and Diamonds” is in black-and-white, 105 minutes long, and spoken in Polish with optional English subtitles. Extra features include behind-the-scenes images, original posters, and Anrezej Wajda’s biography and filmography.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  4. Zbigniew Cybulski brings to life the Polish resistance in post-WW2 Poland. Now under the rule of Soviet Russia, Poland becomes the object of Communist militarization and control. A young Polish freedom fighter, along with his compatriots, plot to cause upheavel in the new communist regime in the area. Excellent actors, plot and setting bring this film to life on the screen as one of the greatest “resistance” type films of all time. Filmed in Polish, a real treat to hear as well as see.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  5. The Bottom Line:

    Ashes and Diamonds sometimes moves too slowly for its own good and doesn’t have the same fascinating mileau that made Wadja’s “Kanal” so involving, but it’s a gorgeous film and if you like history like I do you’ll probably find the setting of 1945 Poland interesting enough to make the film worth a look: for patient viewers, there’s a lot to appreciate here.

    3/4
    Rating: 4 / 5

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