Ashes and diamonds

Ashes and diamonds

DVD - 2009 | Polish | DVD edition.
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Maciek is a young Resistance fighter who is ordered to kill Szczuka, a Communist district leader, on the last day of World War II. The Soviet leader who has arrived in town to establish a new government. A mistake leads him to a beautiful barmaid who shows him what his life could be like and although killing has been easy for him in the past, Szczuka was a fellow soldier, and Maciek must decide whether to follow his orders.
Publisher: [Irvington, N.Y.] : Criterion Collection, [2009]
Edition: DVD edition.
Copyright Date: ?2009
ISBN: 9781604651638
1604651636
Branch Call Number: DVD Polish ASH
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (103 min.) :,sound, black & white ;,4 3/4 in.

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DWIGHT A GREEN
Mar 11, 2016

I highly recommend this Criterion Collection DVD which includes a 35-minute feature of interviews with director Andrej Wadja, second director Janusz Morgenstern, and film critic Jerzy Plazewski. Also available from Criterion are two essays on the movie, one by Daniel Gerould, the other by Paul Coates.

I also highly recommend the book, written by Jerzy Andrzejewski, but if that's not available this movie is a great adaptation of it.

Since the summary presented above is adequate, I'll mention the two general topics raised in the book and film. The first subject presents the chaos in Poland at the end of World War II (May 1945 for the European theater). The second asks the question how should a man be judged for his actions during crisis situations such as war or confinement? Both are extremely complex topics with no easy answers.

Parts of the movie are heavy-handed in the symbolism, and Zbigniew Cybulski’s portrayal as Chelmicki shows his love of James Dean a little too much in his "Look how much I'm feeling" approach. As I've said, though, I still highly recommend both the book and the novel because of the complex subjects they raise and the way they present them.

d
dbed
Jun 30, 2011

The book is way better. This movie is of historical significance, but it getting pretty dated.

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