Stach is a wayward teen living in squalor on the outskirts of Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Guided by an avuncular Communist organizer, he is introduced to the underground resistance—and to the beautiful Dorota. Soon he is engaged in dangerous efforts to fight oppression and indignity, maturing as he assumes responsibility for others’ lives. A coming-of-age story of survival and shattering loss, A Generation delivers a brutal portrait of the human cost of war. —The Criterion Collection
Like John Ford and Roberto Rossellini, Andrzej Wajda was anointed from his arrival on the world stage as the official film-maker of his country; the artist whose works best interpreted the dynamic changes of his nation’s history. Born in 1926 to an army officer and a school teacher, Wajda’s family was progressive in matters of culture and education. As it would for many young men of his generation, Wajda’s life was permanently altered by the Nazi Invasion of Poland in 1939; the event which marked the official start of the Second World War. Wajda went into hiding with his mother while his father was drafted into active duty. It was only in 1989 that Wajda received confirmation that his father was murdered in the Katyn Forest Massacre; an event which informed his 2007 film Katyn.
After the war, Wajda studied painting at the Kraków School of Fine Arts. However, Wajda became restless with his chosen medium and became inspired by reports of the formation of the National Film School… read more
Wajda in 2003, on using live ammunition during the shooting of the film: "When I think of it today, well I--But we were convinced that luck was on our side. Because we had survived the occupation and come through it alive, we believed nothing more could happen to us. The worst was behind us." Where's the still of the people hanging from the poles? That was horrifying but well-shot.