I must confess that I’ve only seen three of his films. One was 1983’s Danton, in which Gérard Depardieu plays the fiery French revolutionary. Then there was Pan Tadeusz (1999) which I saw as a grad student at Ohio State’s Slavic Department during a weekend-long Polish cultural festival. That movie is Wajda’s lush representation of the eponymous epic poem by national poet Adam Mickiewicz. It takes place in the early nineteenth century, after Poland had been partitioned by Austria, Prussia and Russia. Two families, living in czarist Congress Poland are divided over whether to be loyal to Russia or to support Polish independence. A few years later, at another Slavic Department-sponsored screening, I saw his 2007 film Katyń, which deals with the massacre of Polish officers by Stalin’s Red Army. A grim but powerful film.
Wajda has earned his place in the canon of world film. None of his films won an Oscar, though four were nominated, and he was presented with an Academy Honorary Award for his contribution to cinema in 2000. Hopefully, he will now receive even greater recognition outside of Poland. And I'll see if I can find more of him on Netflix!
By Piotr DrabikDerivative work: TharonXX - →This file has been extracted from another file: Andrzej Wajda OFF Plus Camera 2012(2).jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52180667