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1,454 Ratings

Ashes and Diamonds

Popiół i diament

Directed by Andrzej Wajda
Poland, 1958


On the last day of World War II, Polish exiles and the occupying Soviet forces confront each other over the future of the country. In this tense environment, we find a young Polish soldier named Maciek, who has been ordered to assassinate the new Soviet-friendly commissar…

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Ashes and Diamonds Directed by Andrzej Wajda

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

1959 | Winner: FIPRESCI Prize

BAFTA Awards

1960 | 2 nominations including: Best Film from any Source

In many ways a gangster film, with Poland’s future on the line instead of loot. Zbigniew Cybulski as Maciek, the cynical assassin, is so fiercely present he drags the movie out of its ostensible setting and even the time period in which it was made.
December 28, 2018
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The casting of Cybulski was the single most subversive thing Wajda did in “Ashes and Diamonds”, since it completely shifted the audience’s sympathy towards the figure of what the authorities perceived as an ideological foe. Maciek’s cause was as unacceptable for the communist party in 1958 as it was at any given moment in the history of the regime, which is the reason his character needed to die at the end.
October 13, 2012
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Cybulski speaks for a new, younger disaffected generation, reassessing its past and uncertain of its future. In this complex and beautiful film, Wajda finds a way to lucidly express confusion and capture the soul of a people constantly trapped by the forces of history.
April 20, 2008
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