Ashes and Diamonds | Chicago Reader

Ashes and Diamonds

107 minutes 1958

One of the first works of the Polish New Wave, Andrzej Wajda's 1958 film is a compelling piece, although it's been somewhat overrated by critics who considered its story of a resistance fighter's ideological struggle as a cagey bit of anti-Soviet propaganda, and hence automatically admirable. Following the art cinema technique of the time, Wajda tends toward harsh and overstated imagery, but he achieves a fascinating psychological rapport with his lead actor, Zbigniew Cybulski—who was known as Poland's James Dean. In Polish with subtitles.

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