Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i Diament)

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A film by Anrzej Wajda, laureate of several dozen prestigious international movie awards including an Oscar from the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as Felix and César awards for lifetime achievements, the Palme d’Or at Cannes, the Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear and the Platinum Lions for lifetime achievement award at the Gdynia Film Festival in 2005.
The film received an award at the 1959 Venice International Film Festival.
It’s considered the best-known Polish film in the world. It’s a masterpiece of international cinema, the apex of the “Polish Film School”.
It features inspired performances by Zbigniew Cybulski and Ewa Krzyżewska who won an Étoile de cristal (Cristal star) French Film Academy Award.
The film is an adaptation of the controversial novel by Jerzy Andrzejowski.
It’s May 1945, the first day after V-Day. Young Home Army (AK) soldiers are ordered to execute the party secretary, Szczuka. Maciek meets Krystyna. The meeting sparks doubt about the meaningfulness of continuing to fight in the ranks of anticommunist resistance.
After the sentence is carried out, Maciek dies in a garbage dump. Meanwhile the end of the war is celebrated.
A presentation of the political and moral conflicts of 1945 shown through the tragedy of a young Home Army (AK) soldier who is forced to follow an order against his conscience.