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Famous Like Me > Director > F > Aleksander Ford

Profile of Aleksander Ford on Famous Like Me

Name: Aleksander Ford  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 24th November 1908
Place of Birth: Lemberg (Lwów), Austria-Hungary, [now Lviv, Ukraine]
Profession: Director
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Aleksander Ford (born November 24, 1908; died April 4, 1980) was a Polish film director.

Polish filmmaker Aleksander Ford played a key role in establishing Poland's international reputation for excellent cinema. One of Ford's protégés was perhaps the world's best-respected Polish director, Andrzej Wajda.

After a year of making short silent films, Ford made his first feature-length film, Mascot, in 1930. He did not use sound until The Legion of the Street (1932). When World War II erupted, Ford went to the Soviet Union and worked closely with Jerzy Bossak to establish the film unit for the Polish military.

After the war, Ford headed the government-controlled Film Polski and held enormous sway over the country's entire film industry. He and a core of dedicated colleagues who were affiliated with the communist party rebuilt most of the film production infrastructure after 1945. While discussing this group, Roman Polanski concluded in his biography: "They included some extremely competent people, notably Aleksander Ford, a veteran party member, who was then an orthodox Stalinist.(…) The real power broker during the immediate postwar period was Ford himself, who established a small film empire of his own."

Ford did use his films to voice his discontent and expose the effects of the new regime upon Jews and the poor, as in his documentaries Street of the Young (1936) and the award-winning Eighth Day of the Week (1959). Both films were banned in Poland. He is perhaps most famous in Poland for directing the film The Teutonic Knights, based on a novel of the same name by Polish author Henryk Sienkiewicz. Ford continued making films in Poland until a resurgence of anti-Semitism during the 1960s led him to spend two years in Israel. Ford later lived in Denmark and eventually settled in the United States.

After 1969 Ford’s name ceased to exist in contemporary production as well as the historical analysis of Polish filmmaking. It was not supposed to be even mentioned. In The Black Book of Polish Censorship, which used to be the basic list for censors in Poland in 1970s, Ford was among other banned names.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Aleksander Ford