(Popiól i diament, Andrzej Wajda, Poland 1958, 103 min., 35mm, English w/subtitles)
Wajda. Wajda’s first bona fide masterpiece and the conclusion of his informal “war trilogy,” Ashes and Diamonds bravely depicts the uneasy Polish political realities in the immediate aftermath of the World War II. The protagonist of the film is a former Home Army soldier Maciek, now tasked with assassinating a high-ranking communist leader. But instead of a straightforward thriller, Wajda delivers a proper film noir, and at the same time a uniquely bleak, socialist riff on disturbed-youth classics such as Rebel Without a Cause or The Wild One.
Presented in collaboration with the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies, University of Rochester.