Andrzej Wajda’s satire of women who attempt to reform their men stars Zygmunt Malanowicz as Wlodek, a former language student who works as a librarian. Fed up with typical Eastern bloc living arrangements—which force him into a small apartment with his wife and in-laws—he starts to look for some extracurricular activity, finding it in the form of library patron Irena (Malgorzata Braunek), an attractive young woman who takes an interest in him. The librarian, eager for a simple fling, is soon engulfed by the whirlwind generated by Irena, who sees him as a hidden literary genius in need of her help. Exploiting her manifold contacts in the literary world, she is able to launch his career as a man of letters, but she’s incapable of seeing that Wlodek is no genius, hidden or otherwise. When her plan disintegrates, the lovers separate. Returning home, the disappointed Wlodek finds that his normally passive wife, Hanka (Ewa Skarzanka), has suddenly conceived her own ambitious plans for him. An impressive and frightening performance by the wide-eyed Braunek helps carry Wajda’s fascinating attempt to expand his prodigious gifts into the realm of satire. —Rotten Tomatoes
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