Starring: Zbigniew Cybulski, Eva Krzyzewski, Adam Pawlikowski
Directed by: Andrzej Wajda
Synopsis: Regarded as one of the greatest of all Polish films from its premiere in October 1958, Andrzej Wajda’s third feature Ashes and Diamonds retains that stature over half a century later.
The entire film takes place on 8 May 1945, when the war in Europe ended with Germany’s formal surrender – but while other countries celebrated, Poland’s postwar power struggle was only just beginning. In depicting the various factions jockeying for position, including ambitious Communists, aristocratic patriots, cynical journalists and anti-Nazi rebels recently emerged from the Warsaw sewers, Wajda brilliantly anatomises a riven country desperately trying to find its identity at a time when a fifth of its population had recently been killed and many more driven into exile. Maciek Chelmicki (Zbigniew Cybulski) embodies this conflict: outwardly a calculating assassin, his ultra-cool façade begins to crack when he badly botches a mission, falls in love with the barmaid Krystyna (Ewa Krzyzewska) and dares to dream of a life outside the armed resistance that’s characterised his entire adult life. His all too human indecision makes him Polish culture’s Hamlet, and Cybulski’s performance remains iconic to this day.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
2K resolution restoration of the film from original 35mm elements
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles
Interview with director Andrzej Wajda
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Samuel Webster
Cat No: FCD1123
Duration: 103 mins
Subtitles: English (Optional)
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Audio: 2.0 uncompressed LPCM Audio
Colour: Black & White