"Ashes And Diamonds" Is Released
Ashes and Diamonds (Polish: Popiół i diament) is a 1958 Polish film directed by Andrzej Wajda, based on the novel by Polish writer Jerzy Andrzejewski.
It completed Wajda's war films trilogy, following A Generation (1954) and Kanal (1956).
The title comes from a 19th Century poem by Cyprian Norwid and references the manner in which diamonds are formed from heat and pressure acting upon coal.
This is the last film in the trilogy that began Andrzej Wajda's career as a director. Preceding this wartime drama are Pokolenie (1955) and Kanal (1957). Once again, Wajda presents a strong anti-war statement, this time in the personae of two men who are given orders on the last day of World War II in Poland to murder a leading communist. The orders come from the part of the resistance that opposes the new communist regime. One of Wajda's favorite performers and a friend, Zbigniew Cybulski, plays the man who eventually pulls the trigger and kills the communist leader -- and the results are not what he expected. In 1959, Popiol I Diament won in competition at the British Academy Awards and at the Venice Film Festival. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide