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Famous Like Me > Director > W > Andrzej Wajda

Profile of Andrzej Wajda on Famous Like Me

Name: Andrzej Wajda  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 6th March 1926
Place of Birth: Suwalki, Poland
Profession: Director
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Andrzej Wajda

Andrzej Wajda (born March 6, 1926) is a Polish film director, one of the most prominent members of the Polish Film School.

A major figure in the world of post-World War II Eastern European cinema, Wajda has chronicled his country's political and social evolution with sensitivity, fervor and a refusal to make compromises in dealing with difficult subjects. Once dubbed a symbol for a besieged country, Wajda has repeatedly drawn from Poland's history to suit his tragic sensibility, crafting an oeuvre of work that devastates even as it informs.

The son of a Polish cavalry officer who was killed early in World War II, Wajda fought in the Home Army against the Nazis when he was still a teenager. After the war, he studied to be a painter at Kraków's Academy of Fine Arts before entering the Łódź Film School.

On the heels of his apprenticeship to director Aleksander Ford, Wajda was given the opportunity to direct a film on his own. With A Generation (1955), the first-time director poured out all his bitterness and disillusionment regarding blind patriotism and wartime heroics, using as his alter ego a young, James Dean-style antihero played by Zbigniew Cybulski. Wajda went on to make two more films of escalating brilliance, which further developed the antiwar theme of A Generation: Kanal (1956) and Ashes and Diamonds (1958), also starring Cybulski. While perfectly capable of turning out mainstream commercial pictures (often dismissed as "trivial" by his critics), Wajda was more interested in works of allegory and symbolism, with certain symbolic devices (such as setting fire to a glass of liquor, representing the flame of youthful idealism that was extinguished by the war) popping up repeatedly in his films.

In 1967, Cybulski was killed in an auto accident, whereupon the director articulated his grief with what is considered his most personal film, Everything for Sale (1969). Wajda's later devotion to Poland's burgeoning Solidarity movement was manifested in Man of Marble (1976) and Man of Iron (1981), with Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa appearing as himself in the latter film. The director's involvement in this movement would prompt the Polish government to force Wajda's production company out of business.

In the early '90s, he was elected a senator and also appointed artistic director of Warsaw's Teatr Powszchny. He continued to make films, addressing the topic of World War II in 1993's The Crowned-Eagle Ring and 1996's Holy Week. In 1997, the director went in a different direction with Miss Nobody, a coming-of-age drama that explored the darker and more spiritual aspects of a relationship between two high-school girls. Three years later, at the 2000 Academy Awards, Wajda was presented with an honorary Oscar for his numerous contributions to cinema; he subsequently donated the award to Kraków's Jagiellonian University.


  • A Generation (Pokolenie, 1954)
  • Towards the Sun (Idę do słońca, documentary on Xawery Dunikowski, 1955)
  • Kanal (1956)
  • Ashes And Diamonds (Popiół i diament 1958)
  • Lotna (1959)
  • Innocent Sorcerers (Niewinni czarodzieje, 1960)
  • Siberian Lady Macbeth (Powiatowa lady Makbet, 1961)
  • Samson (1961)
  • Love at Twenty (L'amour à vingt ans, 1962)
  • Ashes (Popioły, 1965)
  • Everything For Sale (Wszystko na sprzedaż, 1968)
  • Roly Poly (Przekładaniec, 1968)
  • Bramy Raju (The Gates to Paradise, 1968)
  • Hunting Flies (Polowanie na muchy, 1969)
  • The Birch Wood (Brzezina, 1970)
  • Landscape After the Battle (Krajobraz po bitwie, 1970)
  • Pilate and Others (Pilatus und andere, 1971)
  • The Wedding (Wesele, 1972)
  • The Promised Land (Ziemia obiecana, 1974)
  • The Line of Shadow (Smuga cienia, 1976)
  • Man of Marble (Człowiek z marmuru, 1976)
  • Rough Treatment (Bez znieczulenia, 1978)
  • The Maids of Wilko (Panny z Wilka, 1979)
  • The Orchestra Conductor (Dyrygent, 1980)
  • Man of Iron (Człowiek z żelaza, 1981)
  • Danton (1983)
  • Love in Germany (Eine Liebe in Deutchland, 1983)
  • A Chronicle of Amorous Incidents (Kronika wypadków miłosnych, 1985)
  • The French as seen by... (Proust contre la déchéance, 1988)
  • The Possessed (Les possédes, 1988)
  • Korczak (1990)
  • The Crowned-Eagle Ring (Pierścionek z orłem w koronie, 1992)
  • Nastasja (1994)
  • The Holy Week (Wielki Tydzień, 1995)
  • Miss Nobody (Panna Nikt, 1996)
  • Pan Tadeusz: The Last Foray in Lithuania (Pan Tadeusz, 1998)
  • Wyrok na Franciszka Kłosa (2000)
  • Broken Silence (Przerwane milczenie, 2002)
  • The Revenge (Zemsta, 2002)

Man of Iron won the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981. Three of Wajda's works, namely The Promised Land, The Maids of Wilko and Man of Iron have been nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign-language film. In 2000, Wajda received an honorary award from the A.M.P.A.S..

Private Life

Andrzej Wajda has been married three times. His second wife was popular actress Beata Tyszkiewicz with whom he has a daughter Karolina (born 1967). His third and current wife is actress and costume designer Krystyna Zachwatowicz.

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