Poland marks 90 birthday of leading filmmaker Andrzej Wajd

Andrzej Wajda

In this Thursday, March 3, 2016 photo Academy Award winning Polish film director Andrzej Wajda speaks during the opening of a review of some of his movies held on the occasion of his birthday, in Warsaw, Poland. Wajda, who turns 90 on March 6, 2016, is currently working on his latest film. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland marked the 90th birthday of the country’s leading filmmaker, Andrzej Wajda, with special showings of his films and exhibitions honoring his life.

Wajda, whose movies focus on key moments in Poland’s history and draw from Polish literature, is still active. He is currently working on a movie about Polish avant-garde painter Wladyslaw Strzeminski, whose works were banned by the communist regime. He has made more than 40 movies.

He recently said he would continue working as long as his energy allows him. He also said that his successful movies are down to the success of entire crews. Those which aren’t that good are his own fault.

Wajda’s last movie was “Walesa. Man of Hope,” which told the story of Lech Walesa, who founded the Solidarity freedom movement that helped topple communism. An earlier film, “Man of Iron,” focusing on the rise of Solidarity out of worker protests, won the 1981 Palme d’Or at Cannes. It was also nominated for an Academy Award, as were three other Wajda movies: “The Promised Land,” ”The Maids of Wilko” and “Katyn.”

“Katyn” was about the 1940 massacre of more than 20,000 Polish officers, prisoners of war, by the Soviet Secret Security. Wajda’s father, Capt. Jakub Wajda, was one of the victims.

In 2000, Wajda received an Academy Award for lifetime achievement.


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