Ashes and Diamonds
Time Out saysThe last of Wajda's unplanned trilogy about the legacy of World War II on his generation, following A Generation (1954) and Kanal (1956), Ashes and Diamonds is also the most flamboyant, and features the iconic figure of Cybulski, frequently cited as the 'Polish James Dean', who died in an accident in 1967. The time is the first days of peace, though from Cybulski's dark glasses the mood could be a decade on. He plays a young fighter waiting to assassinate a recently appointed communist official in a small Polish town. But a burgeoning love affair with a hotel barmaid leads him to question the value of this continual struggle. Wajda's way is the sweet smell of excess, but some scenes remain powerfully memorable - the lighting of drinks on the bar, the upturned Christ in a bombed church, and Cybulski's prolonged death agonies at the close.