log in / register


Andrzej Wajda
Poland 1957 / 91’
Blue Magnolia

When the sewers were being constructed in a film studio in Łódź for the new film by Andrzej Wajda, nobody suspected that in future this film would be recognized as the beginning of the Polish School. The screenplay was written by Jerzy Stefan Stawiński and based on his own short story describing his own experience. This was the first post-war portrait of the Warsaw Uprising. It depicts a dramatic attempt by a platoon of the Home Army to get into the fighting quarter of Central Warsaw. In the besieged city it is becoming increasingly difficult to move from one quarter to another, and therefore the soldiers resolve to go through the sewers. The approaching tragedy is foreshadowed by the music, which accompanies the characters in their underground journey. Poignant sounds from an ocarina mix with the sound of shootings and footsteps in the dark sewers, filled with moist sewage. These elements build up an original image of the hell the characters are in. The director did not choose to make a eulogy for the insurgents, which caused the disapproval of the audience and unfavourable reviews. Only gaining a Silver Palm at the Cannes IFF in 1957 (ex aequo with  The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman!) and much praise for the work abroad, began a small change in the attitude back in Poland.

Beata Cyganek


Cannes IFF 1957 – Jury Special Prize

Andrzej Wajda

(1926 - 2016) Film and theatre director, screenwriter and stage-designer. He studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków (1946-1950) and then directing at the National Film School in Łódź. Andrzej Wajda was one of the most distinguished and popular Polish directors and a co-founder of the Polish School of the 1950s and 1960s. He started his professional career working with Aleksander Ford on the film Five from Barska Street. His feature debut was A Generation), a story about young people of the suburbs of Warsaw during the Nazi occupation of Poland. Wajda was an extraordinarily prolific and universal director. He has made very different films: psychological, historical, political, literature adaptations. In every genre, his works have made history in Polish cinema. For his outstanding services to the film industry Wajda has received numerous prestigious awards. In 2000 he was the first Polish filmmaker to receive an honorary Oscar. Wajda was also a theatre director. He worked at Teatr Stary in Kraków and Teatr Powszechny in Warsaw.

Selected filmography

1954 Pokolenie / A Generation

1957 Kanał / Kanal

1958 Popiół i diament / Ashes and Diamonds

1959 Lotna

1960 Niewinni czarodzieje / Innocent Sorcerers

1965 Popioły / The Ashes

1968 Wszystko na sprzedaż / Everything for Sale

1970 Krajobraz po bitwie / Landscape After the Battle

1973 Wesele / The Wedding

1974 Ziemia obiecana / Promised land

1976 Człowiek z marmuru / Man of Marble

1979 Panny z Wilka / The Girl from Wilko

1981 Człowiek z żelaza / Man of Iron

1983 Danton

1999 Pan Tadeusz

Cast & Crew

director Andrzej Wajda
screenplay Jerzy Stefan Stawiński
cinematography Jerzy Lipman
editing Halina Nawrocka
music Jan Krenz
cast Teresa Iżewska, Tadeusz Janczar, Wieńczysław Gliński
production Zespól Filmowy Kadr
sales SF Kadr
language Polish
colouration colour