Andrzej Wajda

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Andrzej Wajda
BirthplaceSuwałki, Poland
Film director, producer, screenwriter

Wajda, Andrzej

(än`jā vī`dä), 1926–2016, Polish film director, leading member of the Polish Film School, which began in the 1950s. His films are typically studies of Poland's modern history, largely concentrating on the brutalities of World War II, the Nazi occupation, and Communist rule (including the rise of SolidaritySolidarity,
Polish independent trade union federation formed in Sept., 1980. Led by Lech Wałęsa, it grew rapidly in size and political power and soon posed a threat to Poland's Communist government by its sponsorship of labor strikes and other forms of public protest.
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), and often emphasize the national yearning for freedom. They include a trilogy about life in wartime and postwar Poland, A Generation (1955), Kanal (1957), and Ashes and Diamonds (1958), as well as Man of Marble (1977), Man of Iron (1981), Danton (1983), Korczak (1990), Pan Tadeusz (1999), Katyn (2007), Tatarak (2009), Walesa (2013), and Afterimage (2016). Wajda was also a theater director, and was active in Polish politics after the end of Communist rule, serving in the senate (1989–91) and as chairman of Poland's Cultural Council (1992–94). In 2000 he received a lifetime-achievement Academy Award for his contribution to world filmmaking.


See his Double Vision: My Life in Film (1989) and Wajda on Film: A Master's Notes (3d ed. 1992), M. Karpinski, The Theater of Andrzej Wajda (1989), J. Orr and E. Ostrowska, The Cinema of Andrzej Wajda (2004), and J. Falkowska, The Political Films of Andrzej Wajda (2004) and Andrzej Wajda: History, Politics and Nostalgia in Polish Cinema (2006).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wajda, Andrzej


Born Mar. 6, 1926, in Suwarki. Polish director and scenarist.

Wajda studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow. In 1954 he graduated from the directing department of the State Higher School for Cinematography and the Theater Arts (Lódź). He began to work in films in 1951. The motion pictures The Sewer (1957, based on a short story by J. S. Stawinski) and Ashes and Diamond (1958), both dealing with World War II, brought Wajda wide recognition. In them he showed with great artistic force the fate of his own generation during an extremely crucial period in his nation’s history. His best films are notable for their realism, masterful direction, and excellent acting; they have received awards at international festivals. Wajda has also made the films The Flying One (1959), Samson (1961; after K. Brandys), Ashes (1965; after S. Zieromski), and Everything’s for Sale (1969). He teaches in the directing department of the State Higher School for Cinematography and the Theater Arts.


Chernenko, M. Andzhei Vaida. Moscow, 1965.
Mruklik, B. Andrzej Wajda. Warsaw, 1969.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Katyn, Andrzej Wajda's latest film, opens with grey clouds drifting across the screen.
Katyn, by Andrzej Wajda,2007, Poland Simon, Eddy Terstall, 2004, Netherlands.
Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, who met visiting Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko on Thursday, said he was happy that the emperor knew about his most recent movie, ''Pan Tadeusz.''
Andrzej Wajda's Man of Marble, 1976, based on a treatment first submitted to the Polish ministry of culture in 1962, investigates the creation--and subsequent disappearance--of an imaginary Stakhanovite of the early '50s, the bricklayer Mateusz Birkut, who is launched as a public figure by a propaganda short on the construction of the model city of Nowa Huta.
Actor Michael Douglas and directors Jim Jarmusch and Andrzej Wajda are interested in launching a Sarajevo film festival.
Since the trophy was launched in 2001, the roster of honorees has included such unconventional filmmakers as Ulrich Seidl, Andrzej Wajda, and Slovak auteur Juraj Jakubisko.
In his afterword, the translator Oscar Swan admonishes Andrzej Wajda for "tampering with historical reality" (134) in the carousel scene of his film version of Holy Week.
In the 1970s, on the even of the spectacular resurrection of the Polish labor movement, the Plish filmmaker most respected in the West was Andrzej Wajda. His Man of Marble, the saga of one worker against the background of a country's social upheaval, could be described--though the director would not consider this flattering--as one of the few genuine successes of Socialist Realism.
Polish writer-director Agnieszka Holland has written films for legendary helmers such as Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Kieslowski, and garnered Oscar and Emmy nominations for films like "Europa, Europa" and TV series such as "Treme." This year, Holland earned raves for directing episodes of "House of Cards." Her work on the Polish omnibus film "Pictures of Life" in 1976 garnered her first mention in Variety.
For example, the novel opens with a chapter set in Georgia in 1921 (this is reminiscent of Andrzej Wajda's cinematographic rendition of Stefan zeromski's Przedwiosnie, which likewise begins with a scene on the Black Sea).