Wałęsa: Man of Hope
The latest production from Oscar-winning filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, entitled “Wałęsa: Man of Hope,” received a standing ovation after a special screening at the Venice Film Festival last week.
Courtesy of Marcin Makowski/Walesafilm.pl
The film portrays former Polish President Lech Wałęsa’s early political career. It tells the story of how Mr Wałęsa grew from a regular blue-collar worker to the charismatic “Solidarity” trade union leader who negotiated with communist authorities and finally became a national hero and international statesman. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983.
Though the legendary leader has largely fallen from grace in the eyes of his Polish countrymen, Andrzej Wajda says he wants to restore the image of his longtime friend as Poland’s hero. “No one seems to remember anymore that he brought us freedom,” the director told the Associated Press.
During the festival Mr Wajda also received the Persol Award, in honor of his extensive work in film. In 1999 Mr Wajda was awarded the Academy Honorary Award “in recognition of five decades of extraordinary film direction.”
The movie, which was screened last Thursday at the 70th Venice Film Festival, is the third and final part of the Polish director’s trilogy about how worker’s disillusionment with communism helped to bring about the system’s demise. The previous two – “Man of Marble” and “Man of Iron” – were released in 1976 and 1981 respectively, while all productions were still heavily scrutinized by communist censors.
NK, JC, RA, BKS
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