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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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.